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Boy, 13, suspended because he refused to take off Vera Bradley purse

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Boy suspended for Vera Bradley purseGARNETT, Kan. (KCTV) — A 13-year-old Kansas eighth-grader says he was suspended from school on Wednesday because he refused to take off his Vera Bradley purse.

His furious mother says it is discrimination because girls are allowed to have purses with no repercussions.

“I don’t think everyone should be treated differently,” Skylar Davis said. “Everyone should have the same privileges.”

Anderson County School District officials did not respond to KCTV5′s repeated efforts to get a comment.

Skylar is a student at Anderson County Senior-Junior School. He said he has been carrying the colorful fabric Vera Bradley bag over his shoulder for some time with no issues.

“It expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well,” Skylar told KCTV5′s Dave Jordan.

He was summoned to Assistant Principal Don Hillard’s office after he wouldn’t take it off.

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

School personnel then called his mother, Leslie Willis, to come get her son.

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

She said she reviewed the student handbook but did not see a mention to bags or purses. She questions the suspension and the timing.

“Skylar has been going to school since August with that same Vera Bradley bag on, hasn’t taken it off. What is the problem?” she asked.

She said she supports her son and his choices. She said if he wants to carry a Vera Bradley purse or any other type of bag that he should be able to do so without being punished.

KCTV5 left messages for Hillard on his office and cell phone. He wasn’t at home Wednesday night.

Dakota Haight said the situation with his brother is unfair.

“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,” Haight said.

Willis said she was told that the suspension wouldn’t be lifted until Skylar stops wearing the purse, which he says he won’t do.

By DeAnn Smith, Dave Jordan, Dave Eckert


  • Tim

    Dude, just take the purse off and call it a day. Woman carry purses, men carry womans books. Why cause such an uproar over a kid not agreeing to take off a purse. People like this who want to get attention…before you know it, he will want to use the restroom for ladies too. Its parents job to raise their son as a son, not a daughter….when they turn 18, then they can legally choose their own path, but for right now, the parents are to blame.

    • sarah

      i agree with you lisa…also it is considered gender discrimination…females can wear their purses/handbag whenever and not have to take it off so why should he if this is the case all the females need to be suspended also…i would side with my child if they were in this situation..take the matter to the school board

  • Martie

    WOW, your comment really is offensive. First of all, why is there “fault” with this situation? With all the violence at our schools and children getting killed, is this really something to be so serious about. Let’s use some common sense here. This seems so petty and frivilious. Look at what our children go through these days. They are literally killing themselves for all sorts or things. They are afraid to be who they are. They would rather die than deal with these types of comments every day. Who are we to expect them to live a lie and not be who they really are because it makes us uncomfortable. How selfish a society we are to expect this. Let’s deal with the REAL issues at hand such as keeping our children safe and let the purse issue ride already. It’s not the 1950’s anymore, deal with it!

  • Cindy Loves Vera Bradley bags herself

    The teacher that complained about it is just jealous that she cant afford a Vera Bradley bag. Guaranteed. Jealous!!!!

  • Jes

    This is a waste of time… As long as he’s not hurting anyone, what’s the big deal? … And the boy needs to learn that you can’t just throw a fit and get your way… If he had a job, I bet they wouldn’t want him carrying a purse either … After he’s clocked out, he can wear a mini skirt for all I care! … Take off the dag’om bag, do your job & go to school… And the school needs to get their panties out of their vajaja.

  • Tim

    boys are boys, girls are girls….enough said. kids who want to show their true colors and act like a girl or dress like one as a boy, then dont cry wolf when you get beat up. This is a tough economy and tough century to live in… a kid, sell the purse or donate it to the teacher!

  • Tarheel GranMommy

    The negative comments I’ve read here are unsurprisingly made by men and most likely parents of “bullies.”
    I don’t see a crime in the boy wearing a purse. Good Lord! Have you seen some of the ways kids dress and wear makeup lately? And really Will???? Bullies come in all shapes and sizes! Shame on you.

  • emily lgbt pep chair

    Props to the BOY that won’t take off his adorable purse! I have one very similar, and it is super handy. Just because he is a boy doesn’t mean that he should conform to what society says is ‘proper’ for him to do. I hope that he only takes off that bag when he finds one that is equally fashionable and convenient.
    Anyone who thinks that it’s ok to shame him because he doesn’t do what they want him to needs to open their eyes to the world around them, and realize that he is a much stronger person than they are because he will actually stand up to naysayers.

  • Tammy Drake

    I agree with tim…… boys are boys girls are girls if you dont want to be pick on dont put yourself there for it to happen.

    • Karen

      He’s not complaining about being picked on. He was suspended from school despite not breaking any rules. If ignorant people want to judge him that’s one thing, but the school has no right to suspend him just because they suddenly don’t like his sense of fashion.

      • Sam

        He was not suspended from school because he carried a purse and he most definitely DID break rules. Of course, he (nor his mother) is never going to admit to that. And do you really think ANY school would dare to let girls carry bags and boys not? Really? You would do well to look a little deeper into this story before comments like this are made and also look much deeper into this family’s history!!

  • Dopple

    The parents of this child should be charged with negligence and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. It is a shame for a male to be effeminate. It is against nature. He should be separated from the normal kids until he is shamed out of his effeminate ways.

  • Randy Jessup

    I am glad the school choose to intervene because that purse doesn’t go with his outfit. Why is this even in the news? OOO wussy boy wears purse to school, school has kittens and suspends wussy. God people get over it. Just sad what gets folks riled up these days.

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