HOW TO KILL SIGN LANGUAGE IN THE CLASSROOM
Frayed rope is a good way to start.
Wrap it around the wrists behind the back.
Ignore the way the hands squirm.
Stuff their hands into thumbless mitts
and tie their wrists to the front legs of their desks.
Ignore the looks of terror in their eyes.
A ruler is another excellent method.
Whack it hard on the back of the hands gone astray.
Enunciate carefully the phrase, “You must speak.”
Fight your natural impulses to point and gesture
every time it’s clear they can’t lipread you.
They must speak! Nothing else matters.
When all else fails, mangle your signing
as you speak clearly. No one needs you
as much as you think these poor beasts do.