Hunter Spanjer says his name with a certain special hand gesture, but at just three and a half years old, he may have to change it.
"He's deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy," explained Hunter's father, Brian Spanjer.
Grand Island's "Weapons in Schools" Board Policy 8470 forbids "any instrument…that looks like a weapon," But a three year-old's hands?
This is about Grand Island, Nebraska, and the policy in question reads
Students are forbidden to knowingly and voluntarily possess, handle, transmit or use any instrument in school, on school grounds or at school functions that is a firearm, weapon, or looks like a weapon as defined by the State of Nebraska Criminal Statutes, the federal laws found in Section 18 USCS Section 921 and in the administrative procedures for this policy 8470. This policy shall cover any object or item which could be used to injure another person or whose clear intent is to resemble an item which could cause injury and which has no school-related reason for being in a school or on school grounds. Such items will be considered “weapons” for the purposed of this policy. Students who are in possession of the aforementioned articles will be subject to mandatory suspension or expulsion procedures.
The "Administrative Procedures for Implementation of 8470″ are here.
I guess that it's (remotely) arguable that using an iconic sign for "Hunter", which involves brandishing your two hands with extended and crossed index and middle fingers, counts as intent to "possess, handle, transmit or use" an "instrument … that … looks like a weapon … or whose clear intent is to resemble an item which could cause injury". But surely this case should be excused under the exemption clause "which has no school-related reason for being in
a school or on school grounds"? After all, having a name is surely a "school-related reason".
But then, I'm neither a lawyer nor a school-system administrator.