13-Year-Old Boy Suspended For Carrying A Purse To School

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A 13-year-old eight grader from Kansas was suspended yesterday for refusing to take off his purse. If I was his mother I would be proud of him for refusing such a stupid request because – well, just because it’s totally stupid.

It was a Vera Bradley purse. Vera Bradley purses are known for their bright colors and signature flowers and paisleys. I think they are pretty hideous, but he’s not being suspended for bad taste.



From the looks of the image on the news, this is close to the design he was carrying. So it’s basically just a shoulder bag with some flowery design. What is the problem here?

Skylar Davis was summoned to the principal’s office after he refused to take the bag off. He refused once again, and they suspended him. From KCTV5:

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 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.

The assistant principal claims the suspension will not be lifted until he stops wearing the purse. Well, if this were my son there may be a little stand still, because that is just stupid. I would love to hear what his reason is for the suspension, but he hasn’t given one publicly yet. I’m going to guess it is something along the lines of, “boys don’t like flowers. Boys shouldn’t wear purses.” How stupid is this?

(photo: Amazon)


  1. Alex

    November 7, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Send him back to school, tell him to call it a satchel instead.

    • CMJ

      November 7, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      He can call it a purse all he wants.

  2. alice

    November 7, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    omg, did you see the picture of him? he’s just a tiny williamsburg hipster. the state of kansas is SO uncool.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      November 8, 2013 at 7:04 am

      I looked because of your comment, and that kid is adorable!

  3. Kate

    November 7, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I feel like this is an epic movie moment waiting to happen, where all the boys in his class show up wearing purses as a sign of solidarity. WHY CAN’T REAL LIFE BE MORE LIKE THE MOVIES???

    • EX

      November 7, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      Rudy! Rudy!

    • Kate

      November 8, 2013 at 10:45 am

      (To the tune of Ninja Rap, made famous by the cinematic classic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret of the Ooze)

      Go hipster, go hipster, go! Go hipster, go hipster, go!

    • janicerobinson124

      November 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      my Aunty Amelia just got a nearly new Jaguar just by some
      part-time working online with a cheap laptop. you could check here

    • Frank Tricker

      November 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Neat! Is it like one of these jaguar cars for sale They make a nice car now and have many new models for sale. Good cars

    • 1ChrisSharpton2

      November 21, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      I always wanted an old jaguar XKE. Boy those are nice

  4. ted3553

    November 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    I try to be so sympathetic to the mess that schools and teachers operate in now but I would be all over the school for this.

  5. evil stepmom

    November 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    /sarcasm/ Perhaps it was the fashion police. Quilted bags are so out. /sarcasm/

  6. Annona

    November 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    That tiny shred of my mind that still has faith in humanity wants to say that there MUST be more too it than this. So he has a flowery purse…so what? What is their justification for punishing him?

  7. Lindsey Sweet

    November 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    What a jerk! I hope that mom keeps on the school, and gets her son back in!

    • pineapplegrasss

      November 8, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      It was just a suspension, not an expulsion, I’m sure this kids living it up.

  8. Paul Bodnick

    November 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    A Coach purse would be more low key

    • Tinyfaeri

      November 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Dude, any son of mine’s going to be wearing the same Kohls bags I am. Maybe if he’s really good, he’ll get a Nine West bag for Xmas.

  9. pineapplegrasss

    November 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Really? I just… um really? There just has got to be more to this story. Was it because all kids were to leave their bags in their lockers? And he was cussing at personnel? I think this is more than picking on a Trans kid with a flowery purse.

    • Kelby Johnson

      November 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      Was he a trans kid? I didn’t see that in the article anywhere.

    • pineapplegrasss

      November 8, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      No, It didn’t say that in the article, just making a point about why a boy would carry a flowery purse, pointing out where the bigotry comes from at seeing a boy with a purse.

    • riverdog

      November 7, 2013 at 10:11 pm

      I was wondering the same thing. If it was a time of day when all the students were supposed to have their bags in their lockers or under their seats or whatever that school’s policy is, then it has nothing to do with the bag being a purse and more about the kid not following the school rules.

    • chickadee

      November 7, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      The link explains that the students, male and female, are not permitted to carry bags of any kind onto core classes, and that he had done so and refused to take it off.

  10. G.E. Phillips

    November 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Who else wants to get together to buy this kid a bunch more fabulous purses?

  11. Stephen

    November 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    The way it’s worded makes me think he’s wearing it in class. If that’s the cass I fully understand and support the suspension.

    • Roberta

      November 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      Care to state why?

    • Shelly Lloyd

      November 7, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      In the original article it said that neither male or female students are are allowed to carry bags of any kind into core classes like math and English. They have to be put away in their lockers. If that is the case, and he was refusing to obey a rule that is enforced for both girls and boys–then yes he should face the punishments.

    • Roberta

      November 8, 2013 at 11:37 am

      I agree the rules should be the same for everyone. But does the punishment fit? It just seems that suspension is a tad extreme for not removing a bag. Detention or some other consequence seems more appropriate.

    • pineapplegrasss

      November 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm

      I seriously think that refusal to a school official for whatever and arguing and using profanity to the official is grounds for suspension. Maybe this isn’t his first offense. Maybe he’s a punk kid. I have teens, I know lots of teens. I highly doubt this had anything to do with the bag after the initial confrontation

    • riverdog

      November 7, 2013 at 10:14 pm

      Agreed. There wasn’t enough info here to really understand what was going on, but if the classroom/school policy is that bags have to be in lockers or under the students’ chairs then anyone could have gotten in trouble for the same thing.

  12. Haradanohime

    November 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Seriously? When I read this headline I literally facepalmed. With all the things going on in schools today, for example bullying, they chose to suspend a child for carrying a bag? A bag that the parent has stated he’s been wearing to school for months and only now decided that it was a distraction (or whatever other ridiculous reasoning they came up with)? They said they told him he had to remove it, not put it in his desk or locker, REMOVE. And he (I think correctly with what info I see here) refused to comply.
    If I know the school system’s way of working, they will most likely say he was suspended for his insubordination rather than for wearing the bag that caused the problem in the first place. But seriously, the only thing dangerous about a bag like that would be from staring at it too long. Administration and teachers need to re-evaluate what is important to student safety. A boy wearing a bag in class, is not something that would distract(unless someone makes it a point like this teacher) or cause a danger to students. All this seems to be is bullying by the teacher who didn’t approve of a boy wearing a bag.

    • readitfirst

      November 8, 2013 at 9:42 am

      read the article under the link

    • Haradanohime

      November 9, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      I did read it and the boy also said in difference to the actual rule girls were allowed carrying purses. They were not reprimanded nor suspended.

  13. Aimee Beff

    November 7, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    Ugh ugh ugh WHO THE HELL CARES how a 13-year-old boy wants to carry his pencils and pens and school ID and notebooks to class? Unless the girls are also not allowed to carry their purses around the school (which would be totally awesome since I’m pretty sure 13-year-old girls love nothing more than having a pocketful of tampons or panty-liners) then this is some egregious gender-policing bullshit.

    Also I think that bag is hella funky (in a good way) but then I live in Wisconsin and think flannel is a good life choice so YMMV.

  14. Shelly Lloyd

    November 7, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Unless I am mistaken, after reading the original article, it seems as if neither girls or boys are allowed to carry any sort of bag or purse into their core classes like math or English. And he refused to comply with that rule. While I think it is a stupid rule, as along as they are enforcing it for both male and female students I do not think this boy should get special treatment and should face the punishment.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      November 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

      I don’t really see why it’s a rule in the first place, it’s kind of stupid, they’re supposed to just carry big handfuls of books and stuff around the halls?

    • Janok Place

      November 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

      At the schools I went to bags ended up being banned in classrooms due to bomb threats. Any baggy sweaters, bags etc were forbidden so that in the event of a threatened bombing staff would be able to scan the rooms quickly for potential danger. We also had a lot of prank call bomb scares… Teens are jerks. Carrying all of your books sucks.

    • Michelle Pittman

      November 8, 2013 at 11:00 am

      a lot of schools do ban bags of any kind…at my kids’ schools, they have to either use a clear (wtf) bookbag or a drawstring bag…

    • Haradanohime

      November 9, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      Did you also miss the part where the boy says that girls are not forced to remove their purses? But it was looked over.

  15. Needs Improvement

    November 8, 2013 at 12:11 am

    I am in KS, and this story was definitely added to since the story broke a few days ago. Yes, I am a teacher, so perhaps my own bias is playing into things, but 9 times out of 10, when a kid says they did nothing wrong, they are either delusional or they are knowingly lying about it. Every time I hear a story from a student, I wait to hear the rest of the story before I make any kind of judgment call because a lot of kids his age either don’t know how to accept or don’t care to accept any sort of ownership for their behavior. I have a very strong hunch that he didn’t simply just say he was not going to take the bag off in a respectful, calm manner.

  16. HS

    November 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

    No one, male or female, is allowed to have a purse in certain classes. This kid looks like a total prick and I highly doubt he’s as innocent as this blog is making him seem.

  17. DatNanny

    November 8, 2013 at 9:15 am

    Looking at the comments and other articles for additional info… this kid just seems like a dick. He knew the rule. Boys and girls have to stow their bags during class. I don’t often side with the school in these sorts of things, but this is a case where a rule was known, fair, equal, and being willfully broken.

    A few comments have asked why no bags: I’d say it is a pretty standard rule. Even in college, bags are not allowed on your person or unzipped during exams. It’s very easy to hide a phone for texting in an open bag. Same with candy, snacks, other distractions that aren’t appropriate in a middle school classroom. If we want to go to extremes, having a bag on your person could be a way to hide drugs when the drug sniffing dog comes to do a locker search. (The dogs never entered classrooms at my school, only checked lockers.) Or a way to hide a weapon.

    This kid knew the rule. They’re not telling him to go get a different bag. They’re telling him to take it off during class like everyone else, rather than expecting an exception to a school rule like a super special snowflake.

  18. Manchester

    November 8, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Anyone else notice how many times the boy and his mom purposely inserted “Vera Bradley” into their remarks?? (Watch the tv interview.) And then it says that Vera Bradley has contacted them and offered them some purses….hmmmmm.

    Also, I cannot believe a public school would so carelessly leave themselves open to a discrimination charge. They’re not stupid. No doubt it’s against the rules for anyone to bring a bag into a classroom, and the kid was “less than polite” when told to put it away.

  19. But -

    November 8, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Anderson County School District Superintendent Don Blome said Thursday that he could not discuss the specific case because of privacy concerns. However, he said all students, whether female or male, are prevented from having bags, purses, satchels and backpacks in the core classrooms like English and math. The bags must be stored in lockers during class time, he said.

    “We strive to make sure we treat every kid alike and there are classroom rules we expect kids to follow,” he told KCTV5 on Thursday. “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.”

  20. Janok Place

    November 8, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Wow… I hope this principle loses and gets a serious public shaming. I went to the only public highschool with uniforms. In the dress code it stated that we women folk had to wear kilts in the months of September, April, May and June. We needed bad weather as an excuse to wear pants. However, they FORGOT to put in the dress code that boys could NOT wear the uniform kilts. It was fantastic, the majority of the boys wore kilts for a full week before the dress code was amended. The principal was forced to make a formal apology to the school and acknowledge that the previous standard for the girls was unfair and politically incorrect.

  21. i_want_you_to_think

    November 10, 2013 at 1:42 am

    parenting fail. kudos to the school for suspending a disruptive student

  22. Erin S.

    December 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I hope someone puts that family in touch with the local branch of the ACLU.

  23. Mikster

    December 11, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    IF the girls can carry them, then so can he- I agree, stand firm for him parents.
    Edited: OK, I saw the other story where it was said that NO student can carry them to certain classes and must put them in the locker. Bad on him. Why should he have special privileges?

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