A deaf Nebraska boy was in the middle of a dispute between his school and his parents after the school threatened to make him change the way he signs his name.
According to KOLN-TV, 3-year-old Hunter Spanjer had been asked to make the change because his local school district, Grand Island Public Schools, allegedly thought his crossing his index and middle fingers while moving his hand up and down broke a rule against “anything that looks like a weapon.”
After reportedly getting hundreds of angry phone calls and emails following initial reports of the controversy surrounding Hunter, though, the district issued a statement Tuesday suggesting the problem boiled down to an issue regarding language standards.
“The sign language techniques taught in the school district are consistent with the standards of the Nebraska Department of Education and ASL [American Sign Language],” the statement said. “Grand Island Public Schools is not requiring any current student with a hearing impairment to change his or her sign language name.”
KOLN’s story on the debate regarding Hunter’s sign language, aired Tuesday night, can be seen below.
Update 9:25 am EST: The headline was corrected.