A young Kansas boy was recently suspended for refusing to remove his purse while at school. Skylar Davis, 13-years-old, told press that despite his female peers being able to carry bags and purses, he was penalized for it.
Skylar had been donning his retro colorful Vera Bradley purse to Anderson Country Junior-Senior High School for over a year before anyone had made a stir about it. But on Wednesday, November 6, Skylar was instructed to remove the purse during one of his classes. After refusing to remove the bag, Skylar was sent to the assistant principal’s office, where he was suspended.
Skylar’s mother, Leslie Willis, has claimed her son is the victim of discrimination, as female students are allowed to carry purses without being reprimanded. She also said that when Skylar returned to school the following day, purse on shoulder, he was criticized for allowing the story to go public.
“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 told KCTV5. “That’s not the story that [Assistant Principal Don] Hillard told me yesterday. Skylar is only thirteen years old. He’s just a child. And if this isn’t bullying, I don’t know what is.” She said that she always encourages her child to speak out against anything that’s bothering him.
The Anderson County Superintendent Don Bloome refuted the claims, stating that the bag rule that applied to Skylar applies to every student, regardless of gender and has been that way for ten years. However, upon reviewing the school’s student handbook, Willis said she found no mention of purses or bags being a breach of class policies.
Skylar’s brother, Dakota Haight, also argues that his brother being suspended from school was “not right.”
However, Skylar isn’t coming out of the whole situation empty handed. The Vera Bradley purse brand has reached out and provided him with merchandise, as well as releasing a statement that said, “We encourage self-expression through color and design.”
Skylar said: “It expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well.”