A 13-year-old boy in Kansas was suspended on Wednesday for wearing a Vera Bradley purse — and officials say he can’t come back until he takes it off.
Skylar Davis told KCTV that he had been carrying the colorful Vera Bradley handbag for months until one official at Anderson County Senior-Junior School insisted that he remove it on Wednesday.
After telling Assistant Principal Don Hillard that he wasn’t going to take the purse off, Davis’ mother, Leslie Willis, was called to pick him up.
“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 do it,” Willis recalled to KCTV. “Skylar has been going to school since August with that same Vera Bradley bag on, hasn’t taken it off. What is the problem?”
Willis added that there was no rule about purses in the school handbook.
Davis pointed out that girls at the school never faced punishment for wearing their purses.
“I don’t think everyone should be treated differently,” he said. “Everyone should have the same privileges.”
Dakota Haight agreed that the school was discriminating against his brother.
“I’ve seen girls wear short shorts. Why don’t they get kicked out? But then he gets kicked out for a purse?” Haight observed. “That doesn’t make sense. It’s not right.”
Although the initial suspension was only for one day, Davis has said that he won’t return to the school until they treat him fairly.
“It expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well,” he insisted.
Anderson County School District Superintendent Don Blome did not respond to Raw Story’s request for a comment by the time of publication.
Update (4:30 p.m. ET): Superintendent Don Blome told Raw Story that middle school students were forbidden from bringing their bags to class. He said the policy was applied fairly to male and female students.
Watch this video from KCTV, broadcast Nov. 7, 2013.