Handbag-carrying boy battles school with his choice

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GARNETT, Kan. -- An eighth grader is fired up after he said he got suspended for wearing his high-fashioned, Vera Bradley handbag to class.

"It disgusts me. It destroys me how people treat each other in this society nowadays,  I felt like they discriminated against me" said  a frustrated, 13 year old Skyler Davis.

"I carried it, (my handbag),in classrooms, down the halls and I never had a problem with it,"  Skyler told FOX 4's Robert Townsend during an interview Thursday night outside his home in Garnett, Kansas.

On Wednesday, Skyler said the multi-colored, floral handbag he's carried to school since August, got him in trouble. The boy said he was sitting in science class when he and his teacher suddenly got into a battle over the bag.

"I went in the classroom and she just started saying, 'Take it off, take it off now.' I went to the vice-principal and he also said I had to take it off and put it in my locker.  I didn't think it was right, " Skyler says.

Superintendent Don Blome said when the boy refused to take off his handbag and place it in his locker, he disobeyed a 10-year-old rule that says all junior high school boys and girls must leave all bags, including book bags, in their lockers before going to their core classes such as math, social studies and science.

"Well, we have a set of rules and that's what we follow and the teachers came up with those rules several years  ago.  The reasoning was book bags are extremely heavy and back when this was put in place there was some concern about the weight of the bag, just the bulkiness, the clutter it creates in the classrooms, " said Blome.

"Skyler's his own person. If he feels like it's not the right thing to do, then Skyler will stand up for who he is, " says the boy's mother, Leslie Willis.

When we asked Skyler whether or not the previous punishment would change his outlook, he remained unswayed.

"I'm not gonna take it off when I return to school Friday.  I know I could be suspended again, but it's a risk I'm willing to take, " says Skyler.

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