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Sign language classes would open new worlds for MHS students

Being unable to speak no matter what we tried, my little brother was taught basic sign language and could finally express his love and affection for his family. As a young child my brother struggled with being unable to communicate with others, but learning sign language to tell us that he was hungry, sad, frustrated, and general things young children felt helped us communicate with him, and later taught him how to communicate verbally. 

Sign language has many benefits to not only those hard of hearing, but to anyone who feels that it brings them comfort. However, only a small percentage of high schools in the United States teach American Sign Language. Out of the hundreds of thousands of schools through the United States, one of 10 schools teach sign language. These numbers compared to the estimated 70 million people in the world, and more than half a million people in america, who use sign language daily is a drastic difference. 

At Merrillville High School, we have a small selection of language classes, French and Spanish, as both are important and helpful to life inside and outside of school, but those who depend on sign language lack opportunities to communicate and teach others how to communicate with them and others surrounding them. This is why sign language should be added to our current offerings. 

Sign language is a form of communication where you use your hands and a variety of motions to communicate. Not only do those who are hard of hearing use sign language, and with that It creates an opportunity to communicate as and with someone who has hearing impairments, mutism, social and/or general anxiety, special needs to be accommodated, or any oral inability to fit in and feel noticed as well as included with others.  

Sign language in school can benefit and help loosen consistent speech and education barriers. it could qualify as a school credit and you can take something out of it and use the world, it could also give different ways to interact with others, no matter their inability to verbally communicate.

To learn basic phases would not only create a more comfortable and safe social environment, but could possibly give new learning opportunity, a new language class, expand on diversity,  and bring new teachers and job skills to the school.

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About the Contributor
Laila Thigpen, Staff Writer
Hi, I'm Laila Thigpen, a junior at MHS, and in in the marching band (color guard). I enjoy collecting things that are cute, girly and pink. I also enjoy language arts, and hopefully I can write things that interest others!

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