Montgomery, AL – The state Legislature's House Education Committee has approved a bill that makes American Sign Language an official foreign language in Alabama schools. Math teacher Kayleen Pugh of the Alabama School for the Deaf says the move will open up many academic fields that are currently closed to deaf students. Pugh says the action will also encourage people who can hear to study sign language. The committee approval came Wednesday. The bill was sponsored by Gadsden Representative Craig Ford. It now goes to the full House for debate.