Freshman Proposes Sign Language Class


Freshman Allana Smith

Maddy Charette, Staff Writer

We all have our interests, our passions, our pleasures. Some people enjoy sports. Others find their heart in music or art. Many are more passionate about academics. For this particular student, one of her passions is the language of American Sign Language.

A freshman at GHS, Allana Smith, has been interested in the language for a few years. She started to be interested in the subject in the seventh grade, when she started attending weekly ASL (American Sign Language) classes. She would spend every day practicing until her fingers hurt. In fact, Allana loves the language to such an extent that in the eighth grade, she wasn’t allowed to face her friend in science class in case they were to sign during work time!

“I believe that the ASL is a really great idea; It gives kids the opportunity to talk to people with hearing trouble. It is also a really great skill to have!” says freshman Coral Chamberlin.

Only weeks after starting school, it became clear to her the lack of a Sign Language class. She would often speak about the possibility of someday there being a class, but soon came to the realization that the class would never exist without someone to push for it.

She, with the assistance of a friend, composed a persuasive document to be handed to the school board when they were ready to present the idea. Allana, having many connections to students through soccer and other activities, worked hard to obtain 100 signatures for their petition.

This task was completed in one school day.

“Oh, I think that it’s great that we got the signatures in one day. Phenomenal even,” Allana stated when asked about the miraculously quick progression in the process.

Many students are very enthusiastic about the idea, admitting to have always wanted the class.

“I, for one, cannot wait to join the class! I sincerely hope they approve it,” says one student.

Because of the success in receiving the one hundred signatures in a day, the girls attempted to obtain two hundred signatures. Soon enough, the sheet filled with the names of students eager for the opportunity to learn ASL.

After a few weeks, Allana decided it was time to present the petition. Nerve-wracking as it was, she had a difficult time summoning up the courage to approach the principal. She almost backed out, and the bell was about to ring for second period. As fate would have it, Mr. McBride was standing within feet of Allana. He welcomed her into the office. According to Allana, “He was seemingly intrigued.” After a short conversation, he told her that he would run it by some other individuals.

As of right now, Allana is waiting anxiously for the approval of her idea. To pass the time, she tries her best to spread the word the petition.