ASL in Lakeland High School


Brelyn Ganske, News Writer

Lakeland High School (LHS) provides three language classes, but only two of them are foreign languages. They offer Spanish, English and French. There is one language that is not offered but commonly used and overlooked by a majority of people. That language is American Sign Language also known as ASL.

When asked about why LHS does not offer ASL, Principle Trent Derrick states that “we could. The elective course offerings we have at Lakeland High School are based on a couple of things, one is obviously we have to have an instructor that is able to teach that course, another thing is we have to have enough students that want to take that particular class.” 

At LHS they have a Sign Language Interpreter, Kami Smith. 

When asked what had originally interested her to start signing, Smith states “My mom is actually the one who gave me the idea to pursue a career in sign language interpreting. My mom and my aunt are both deaf, so I have been using sign language my whole life.” 

“I think it’s an incredible skill for somebody to have, and it’s hugely important. If we could do it I would be one hundred percent for it,” Derrick states. 

If LHS had an instructor to teach the language they would be willing to have ASL as one or their main electives. They had also mentioned that there might be some new electives coming soon, depending on what electives the teachers can teach and what the board of the school will pass. 

Smith states “ Unfortunately, I am not qualified to teach sign language nor sign language interpreting. However, I am more than willing to teach anyone signs through casual conversation. Feel free to ask me any signs! I encourage anyone to take the time to learn basic conversation signs! It’s fun to use and the very best way to communicate with our own deaf or hard of hearing students here at Lakeland High School or even in our own community.” 

So if you happen to see Kami in the halls somewhere you could ask her how to sign an easy phrase or letter.