(NBC) - The family of a 3-year-old deaf boy in Nebraska says school administrators want to change the way he signs his name because the gesture resembles a gun.
Hunter Spanjer was born deaf. He uses a gesture that involves crossing his fingers to sign his own name. His dad, Brian, says it’s the only name Hunter has ever known.
Brian says the principal at Hunter's pre-school told them Hunter's name sign violates a zero-tolerance weapons policy, and therefore he can't use it.
“That's the name we gave our son,” Hunter’s mom said. “That's how I communicate with him from day one. I don't see why we should have to change it.”
The toddler goes to a public pre-school where about 2 percent of the kids have hearing disabilities. A spokesman emphasized that the school teaches American Sign Language, or ASL, but said privacy laws and school policy forbids him from talking specifically about the family's claims.
The Grand Island Public Schools have never required any student to change their name sign. But Hunter’s parents say after several phone calls and meetings with school officials, the principal insisted Hunter use a different sign for his name.
Hunter's family says the principal offered several options for Hunter, like spelling his name.
Now, after nearly a week of no communication, Hunter's parents say school officials have asked them to come in and talk and they say they're willing.
But they also insist Hunter's name will remain what it has always been.
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