“It expresses myself and I think everyone else can wear it, so I wear it as well,” Skyler told KCTV’5s 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 reverify the story, and yeah, he refused to take off his Vera Bradley bag, nothing more to 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.
“Skyler 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.
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In response to Blome’s comments Thursday, Willis told KCTV5 that the bag rule should be a formal part of the student handbook so that there is no confusion.
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.
In an email, she said that her son went back to school at 1:30 p.m. Thursday with the bag in tow.
“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,” she wrote. “That’s not the story that Mr. Hillard told me yesterday. Skyler is only 13 years old. He’s just a child. And if this isn’t bullying, I don’t know what is.”