An educational budget hearing in Albany, New York, was the site of a startling revelation recently: many Big Apple students, including those of state lawmakers, can’t even sign their own names. Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-SI/Brooklyn) told Board of Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia that students have become so tech-oriented that they never learn how to write their names in signature form, leaving them unable to properly ink contracts, checks and credit cards. “Not only is it sad, but it’s a security issue. Can you imagine? Not only does it mean you can’t sign a business contract, but it makes you vulnerable to identity theft because anyone can just go ahead and print your name,” she stated.
Malliotakis said the penmanship problem was brought to her attention while she was helping one of her constituents fill out a voter registration form. He printed his name and she told him to sign it. He didn’t know how to and insisted that his printed name was his “signature.” This is someone at least 18-years-old (or very close to it).
Long-time Harlem legislator Herman “Denny” Farrell says that his 11-year-old daughter doesn’t know how to sign her name, either. “And she’s smarter than me,” he said of his daughter. “They don’t teach it,” Farrell exclaimed. LeRoy Comrie, a senator from Queens, told Malliotakis that his son was never taught that “skill” either.
John Hancock weeps.