US Deaf News: Three-year-old banned from signing his name

Posted on August 29, 2012

A huge row is underway across the Atlantic after a Deaf pre-schooler was banned from using his sign name because his school said it violated their anti-weapons policy.

In a story that echoes last year’s row here in the UK about a ‘rude’ sign in a nursery rhyme, Hunter Spanjer, from Grand Island, Nebraska has a sign name that staff at the school believe is too similar to the sign for “gun.” The sign is said to look like a shooting gesture.

The parents are in dispute with the school and have now brought in lawyers from America’s National Association of the Deaf to try and force the school to change their minds.

The story has been reported across the web, including on Gawker, the Toronto Sun,  and 1011 Now, among others. You can see Hunter and his sign name for yourself in the (uncaptioned) video below. What do you think?

The Limping Chicken is supported by Deaf media company Remark!, provider of sign language services Deaf Umbrella, training and consultancy Deafworks, the National Deaf Children’s Society’s Look, Smile Chat campaign, and the National Theatre’s captioned plays.

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.

Find out how to write for us by clicking here, or sign a blog for us by clicking here! Or just email

Make sure you never miss a post by finding out how to follow us, and don’t forget to check out what our supporters  provide: