Skylar Davis says he's been carrying his colorful Vera Bradley purse to Anderson County Senior-Junior High School in Garnett, Kan., since August. But on Wednesday, the 13-year-old says administrators demanded he remove the bag — and when he refused, he was suspended.
"It expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well," Skyler told Kansas City television station KCTV Wednesday.
After Davis refused to remove his purse, which he wears slung across his body, and was subsequently issued a one-day suspension, administrators called Davis's mother, who says she was upset by the news, since female students are regularly allowed to carry their purses into class.
"I was a little furious," Leslie Willis told KCTV. "And I called the school [and spoke to the principal] to reverify the story, and yeah, he refused to take off his Vera Bradley bag, nothing more to it."
Anderson County School District superintendent Don Blome told KCTV that Davis's gender wasn't the issue, but rather that the school has a rule stipulating students may not have personal bags in classrooms.
"We strive to make sure we treat every kid alike and there are classroom rules we expect kids to follow," Blome told KCTV Thursday. "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."
But Willis says there's nothing in the school's policy guidebook handed out to parents that even addresses purses or bags. KCTV says school officials told the the station that's because it's a "rule," not a "policy."
Davis returned to school today, but he and his mother say he's still planning to wear his purse, even if it gets him sent home again.
Watch KCTV's two reports below, with the most recent video first: