Boy Says He Was Suspended for Carrying a PurseBy: Erika Watts - November 8, 2013
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.
“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]