LGBT

13-Year-Old Boy Suspended For Wearing A Vera Bradley Purse

“It expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well,” claims eighth-grader Skyler Davis after refusing to remove his colorful purse at school.

1. A 13-year-old Kansas student, Skyler Davis, was suspended from school on Wednesday, reportedly because he was wearing a Vera Bradley purse.

A student at Anderson County Senior-Junior School in Garnett, Kansas, Skyler had been wearing the bag for months before one school official asked him to remove it.

2. When the eighth-grader refused to remove it, he was sent to Assistant Principal Don Hillard’s office.

“I went to the office and I refused to take it off, and they suspended me,” the teen claims.

 

3. The school notified his mother, Leslie Willis, who had to come and pick up her son.

“I was a little furious, and I called the school [and spoke to Hillard] to reverify the story and yeah — he refused to take off his Vera Bradley bag, nothing more to it,” Willis said.

4. Skyler’s friends and family have been extremely supportive of his right to wear the bag.

His brother stated, “I’ve seen girls wear short shorts. Why don’t they get kicked out? But then he gets kicked out for a purse? That doesn’t make sense. It’s not right.”

5. Skyler’s mother claims there is no mention of purses in the student handbook.

“We strive to make sure we treat every kid alike and there are classroom rules we expect kids to follow. 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.” Hillard said Thursday.

6. As an act of support, two stores that sell Vera Bradley purses have offered products to Skyler. The Vera Bradley company released the following statement:

“Vera Bradley creates products that allow all of us to express our individual style. We encourage self-expression through color and design.”

7. The school district has since mailed Willis a formal notification of the disciplinary action.


Willis said she was told that the suspension wouldn’t be lifted until Skyler stops wearing the purse — which he says he will not do.

BuzzFeed could not reach the school for comment.

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Sarah Karlan is the associate LGBT editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact this reporter at sarah.karlan@buzzfeed.com
          
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