Task Force: Naming Your Child
You have been hired to set federal policies for naming children in the United States. You will be in charge of deciding whether or not any and all names should be allowed or what kinds of restrictions and guidelines there should be in regards to naming.
Why Are We Doing This?
Naming laws would serve the general purpose of ensuring that parents/guardians could not choose embarrassing and/or offensive names for their child by creating restrictions for the decision. Various states in the United States place few restrictions on choosing names. There is a list of illegal names, but each state has differing (and often arbitrary) laws concerning the naming a child. For example, in California you are not allowed to include accent marks in names! Here, we ask you to decide whether parents and guardians should be allowed to name their children whatever they want or if there should be certain restrictions and what those restrictions may look like.
- Before you begin, research policies for naming a child in the United States (on federal and state levels). Try to find policies you think are necessary and perhaps some that are not.
- Then, try to lay out guidelines for choosing a name or try to justify why there should be no restrictions for naming a child.
- What kinds of names should be prohibited?
- What kinds of names should be allowed?
- Should names of numbers, colors, fruits, etc be allowed?
- What kinds of policies have you seen that were necessary? Have you seen any that are unnecessary? Describe them.
- Think through the possible objections about your guidelines (or lack thereof) for naming a child that someone could have and how you would answer them.
- If you decided that names should not be regulated, are you ready to defend why?
- What kinds of guidelines may be objectionable? How will you defend your decisions?
- Share with the group and see if you can convince them that your guidelines and restrictions for naming a child should be implemented.
Things to Keep in Mind:
- You do not have to come up with an exhaustive list of policies. Come up with a few that you are prepared to defend.
- Make sure you do prior research to see what kinds of policies have been implemented in the past.