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Boy Says He Was Suspended for Carrying a Purse

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A 13-year-old Kansas student was suspended from his junior high school this week because he reportedly refused to ditch his Vera Bradley purse. Skyler Davis is an eighth grader at Anderson County Senior-Junior School and says he has been carrying the bag since school started and found himself in trouble after he refused to take it off one day this week.

Skyler’s mother, Leslie Willis, was called to the school on Wednesday to pick up Skyler. After he refused to take the purse off in class, he was sent to the office, where he also refused to remove the bag.

“I was a little furious, and I called the school to reverify the story, and yeah, he refused to take off his Vera Bradley bag, nothing more to it. Skyler has been going to school since August with that same Vera Bradley bag on, hasn’t taken it off. What is the problem?” Willis commented. Willis says she is supportive of her son’s decision to wear a Vera Bradley bag.

Check out a picture of Skyler wearing his Vera Bradley purse below.

(image)

“It expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well. All the girls can wear purses but I can’t because I’m a male,” Skyler said. Skyler’s mother says that he is the victim of gender discrimination.

When Skyler went back to school the next day, he says he was told that he was never suspended for refusing to remove the purse. “He was pulled into an office, behind closed doors to tell him that he was never suspended for refusing to take off his purse, he got suspended for foul language,” Willis said. “That’s not the story that Mr. Hillard told me yesterday. Skyler is only 13 years old. He’s just a child. And if this isn’t bullying, I don’t know what is.”

Even though the root cause of the suspension is disputed, Anderson County School District Superintendent Don Blome is very clear on the fact that students aren’t allowed to bring any bags in the classroom, something that has been a rule for around 10 years.

“We strive to make sure we treat every kid alike and there are classroom rules we expect kids to follow,” Blome said. “They can bring (bags and purses) to school. There’s no policy against that. But the classroom rules are that they can’t bring it to the classroom.” Blome says that handbags and backpacks are supposed to be stored in lockers while the kids are in class–this rule applies to all students, not just males.

Skyler has received a lot of support for his decision to wear a purse, both at school and online. Check out some comments posted to Twitter. Make sure to post your thoughts on the issue below.

[Images via KCTV5]

Boy Says He Was Suspended for Carrying a Purse
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  • Yep

    Leave the kid alone. Yeah, he is gay. That is really what this is about. So what. Our society and schools are so out of touch with reality. No one deals with what is important anymore. No one has freaking common sense.

    Yesterday, CNN did an article on a David Eckert who was forced to have x-rays, undergo 3 enemas, a colonoscopy, and multiple body cavity searches all because the police supposedly saw him clinch his butt after they pulled him over for rolling through a stop sign. The police then billed him for all those things. Police are abusing people left and right in this nation. They are out of control. We are literally becoming a police state. No one cares. No one does a thing about it. Yet, we will get up in arms about a kid who wears a purse.

    There is no hope for America really. We are witnessing the beginning of the end.

  • lee tilson

    Make a difference. Leave a message for the school administrators and for the purse manufacturer. Here are the links.
    Superintendent http://www.usd365.org/index.php?pageID=18301_2 scroll down left side to “Send Message”
    High School Principal and Vice Principal http://ac.usd365.org/index.php?pageID=12053_2
    School Board http://www.usd365.org/index.php?pageID=11848_2

    Post for school admins
    I am hoping to read tomorrow that your school system has decided to publicly apologize to Skyler Davis. If I do, I plan on writing a complimentary letter to you and your superiors. I recall my days in high school when the high school administration refused to respect the US Supreme Court precedent of Tinker v Des Moines, Iowa. This kind of behavior by a school administrator completely undermines your credibility. Sooner or later, you will have to do the right thing. The sooner you do it, the better for everyone.

    Message to manufacturer
    http://investors.verabradley.com/contactus.cfm
    Skyler Davis was suspended for wearing one of your purses to school. http://goo.gl/H7snrc He has given your company a lot of publicity.
    Anything your company did for him, e.g. giving him any Vera Bradley purse of his choice, flying him to New York to ask for his opinions on new products, or even issuing a press release, would generate good publicity for your company.
    This is an opportunity for your company to support one of your most famous customers and to get free publicity.

  • lee tilson

    Make a difference. I left his message here: http://www.usd365.org/index.php?pageID=18301_2 scroll down
    - I am hoping to read tomorrow that your school system has decided to publicly apologize to Skyler Davis. If I do, I plan on writing a complimentary letter to you and your superiors. This kind of suspension undermines your credibility. – To manufacturer – http://investors.verabradley.com/contactus.cfm –
    Your supporting Skyler Davis will be great publicity for your company. http://goo.gl/H7snrc

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