ASL, Why Don’t We Have It?

ASL, Why Don’t We Have It?

Kathryn Phillips, Staff Writer

American Sign Language. It’s a way for the deaf to hear and the mute to talk. If sign language is such an important language, then why isn’t it taught at Huntingtown High School even though the school class sign up says they’re still teaching the class? And should ASL be a mandatory class to take like math and science?

American Sign Language or ASL, is the natural language that most deaf people use and gained recognition in the early 1800s when Thomas Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc opened the very first school for the deaf in the United States in 1960 when ASL was considered an actual language by experts.

A lot of people believe that ASL should be a mandatory class for America like English and math, but maybe it should just be an optional class everywhere in the US. ASL should be taught in all US schools as studies have shown that many pros of learning it are that it helps people communicate easier. Learning a second language can boost problem-solving skills and critical thinking, too, and learning ASL can help with confidence as well as improving memory.

Now, at Huntington High School, if you go into the language classes you can register for, you can see that ASL is one of the few options there, yet if you register for the class, it will come as a surprise to you that the class itself is nonexistent. So, the question itself is, why?

Well, with a bit of research, I found that the previous ASL teacher had quit three years ago due to unknown reasons and that Huntingtown High School is currently looking for a replacement instead of canceling the class altogether.

There are many deaf communities in Maryland.  Having a class to raise awareness and teach young students about deaf culture and language, might help bring us closer together in these tough times.

And as it turns out, students registered for ASL this year. All were disappointed when they found out that the class they wanted to take, didn’t exist.

 We still don’t know when the ASL classes will be back or even if they will be back at all, but for now, we can only wait and see when ASL will be an available option for Huntingtown High School.