Public schools

Boy With a Purse Causes School Freakout

With officials, not apparently with students

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The purse goes well with his totally fierce belt, but I'm not sold on the hoodie.
KCTV

13-year-old Skyler Davis, an 8th-grader in Anderson County Junior-Senior School in Garnett, Kansas, just wants to wear his Vera Bradley purse to class, but some folks are just being jerks about it.

Based on coverage from KCTV in Kansas, it doesn't appear as though the problem is bullying from other students. Even Skyler's own brother is on his side. It's school officials who are telling him he can't wear his purse in class, going so far as to suspend him. From KCTV:

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," Skyler Davis said Wednesday. "Everyone should have the same privileges."

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.

Mom couldn't find anything in the school manual about storing purses or bags in lockers. Skyler said he'd been wearing the purse for a while with no problems. Unfortunately despite interviewing the family, KCTV didn't seem to attempt to check with any female students who attended school there to verify that Skyler was being singled out. The superintendent insisted the bag policy has been in place for years, but that just makes it stranger that it's not in the student manual; not that it actually matters because the rule is stupid in the first place.

Vera Bradley is taking advantage of the publicity and contacted KCTV to offer Skyler some more bags. Unfortunately for him, the school is insisting on not letting him carry his purse to class:

[Skyler's mom Leslie] Willis said she was told that the suspension wouldn't be lifted until Skyler stops wearing the purse, which he had said on Wednesday that he wouldn't do.

But with some time to reflect, the teen is unlikely to dig in his heels forever.

"We're going to have to find some compromise in this," his mother said. She didn't detail what that could be.

Why not check out Kansas charter schools, Mom?

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

    We call those rights, sweetie.

    1. Another reason to get him in a better school.

    2. ^^^ THIS!

    3. I don’t think carrying a purse is a right, especially since school children have no rights according to the USSC. Hugh, you just failed “are you smarter than a 13 year old”.

      1. They have rights whether the USSC chooses to recognize them or not.

      2. The US Supreme Court says nothing of the sort.

        In fact, it’s abundantly established in precedent that they have rights.

        Tinker v. Des Moines only dates to 1969, so it’s no surprises you haven’t managed to hear about it?

        Perhaps you’re confusing the way the Supreme Court has sometimes limited some of them in ways related to schools, with “not having rights” at all?

        It’s fine and good to complain that they shouldn’t be limited like that, but to claim that the Court says none exist is simply false; it’s repeatedly affirmed that students DO possess them.

    4. Say what you like, the State still dresses him in the morning.

  2. All together now…

  3. it’s not a purse, it’s a satchel. Indiana Jones wore one.

    1. In that floral print, it’s a purse.

      And hw could have at least had one that didn’t stand out so much if the bag was what mattered instead of the ‘statement’.

      1. The bag is what mattered. He wore it because it is a Vera Bradley bag and he likes it and how it looks. What the fuck does it matter what it looks like regarding whether or not he is allowed to carry it?

        1. No, this was a statement to try to get a reaction out of the school authorities.

          1. So?

            That makes it even more protected, since expressive conduct is explicitly a First Amendment matter.

            Doubly so since it is in itself not remotely disruptive of the educational process or any other plausible excuses.

        2. It would only matter if it said “I

          1. …Said “I love Jesus”

      2. Ya, if he just has, for example, a skull and crossbones on there, this whole thing could have been avoided.

        1. It would have blended into the emo brat vibe and never been noticed.

      3. In that floral print

        Camouflage, duh.

    2. True, but he never dropped bobby pins.

  4. What did the school’s fashion resource officer thing about this?

    1. That’s actually the problem. “The purse should match the shoes!”

  5. If he had just slung an LLBean backpack over one shoulder nobody would have said a thing, right?

    1. And it’d still be a purse, since it’d be a “bag with a shoulder strap”.

      I made myself one for EDC purposes. I could try and call it a “satchel” or a “courier bag”, but it’s a purse, just as those are also “purses”.

      The term was good enough for Chaucer and Shakespeare, and it’s good enough for me.

      (I think he’s got terrible *taste*, since that’s uglier than most of the Vera Bradley line, but that’s another matter entirely.)

  6. He needs a place to store his manpons.

  7. They’re just trying to stop the little faggot from being bullied.

    1. …by bullying him themselves. Great example to set.

      1. You’ll find that that’s rather typical logic, actually. It’s always easier to punish the victim for making waves.

        1. I remember. When I was beat up by several older boys in school (while in my own class, mind you), I got in more trouble than they did.
          Thus encouraged, they never let up. I broke one guy’s nose and another’s arm and several ribs early the next year (outside school), but they just stalked longer between incidents.
          I was so glad when Dad got transferred.

    2. The school needs Richie Incognito to toughen him up.

      1. Scared straight?

  8. In the military they call purses satchel charges. That’s why we can’t have them in our schools.

    1. A satchel charge is an explosive device that fits in a satchel.

      1. And a Ruger 10-22 is an assault rifle.

        1. Christ, 100 years ago my Remington 700 was an “assault” rifle.

        2. And a Ruger 10-22 is an assault rifle.

          I wore the first one flat out. Each of my kids has one now.

          1. Still got the one my dad had when I started shooting about 4 decades ago.

            I didn’t know you COULD “wear one out”! Good going!

    2. The 2 quart canteen with carrying pouch and sling is the best military purse.

  9. Superintendent Don Blome said Thursday that he could not discuss the specific case because of privacy concerns.

    Why’s that, Don? Afraid it’ll get out that you carry a purse, too?

  10. At least it’s not a fanny pack.

    1. It’s European!

      //Seinfeld

      1. No, the European ones are bum bags.

      2. he’s a dandy. He’s a real fancy boy.

        1. +1 Kramer

  11. all students, whether female or male, are prevented from having bags, purses, satchels and backpacks in the core classrooms

    “There’s no reason for it. It’s just our policy.”

    1. “I’m sure whoever made the policy had a good reason for it. Questioning it is not my job. My job is to enforce it.”

      1. ‘Hey, how come Skyler gets to carry a purse? If he wears a purse, we’ll all wear purses, it’ll be anarchy.’

    2. what’s a core classroom?

      1. Is that like homeroom?

        1. I thought it was a classroom in the core of the building with no windows.

    3. How long has the policy existed?

      Oh since about 3 days after he started wearing the purse

  12. I question why anyone wants to carry a Vera Bradley bag, but I don’t think this should be decided on grounds of taste.

  13. “HE COULD HIDE A GUN IN THERE!”

    1. “This is my rifle, this is my gun! This is for fighting, this is for fun!”

      1. Get off my obstacle!

        1. You post on the Reason boards like old people fuck.

          1. Not at all?

            1. Slow and sloppy (courtesy of George Carlin RIP)

        2. What’s your major malfunction numbnuts? Mommy didn’t hug you enough?

  14. It could be a suitcase nuke. The school is just being responsible.

    1. When he’s old enough to drive he’ll just put it in his motorcycle side car.

  15. It is perfectly sensible not to allow bags in class. Most classes are crowded and storage is somewhat limited. Also students could store things in their bags that are a distraction from learning. I don’t find it surprising that the rule was not in the manual because most people do not read or even look at these usually gigantic manuals. Not everything is an affront to our liberty. I think there is serious boy who cried wolf potential here.

    1. Jesus Christ. Shut the fuck up.

    2. Know who else didn’t allow bags in confined places with no or limited storage?

      1. Flight attendants?

      2. My airline.

        I swear it could have all fit in the overhead compartments if not for the other passengers 🙁

      3. The officer who moved von Stauffenberg’s briefcase?

    3. Most kids just bring their cell phones in. None of high school classes (my school did have a bag policy) were anywhere as crowded as some of the classes at the college I went to, and it wasn’t exactly a small high school. 800 in my senior year alone, the only public high school in the area. There was plenty of space.

    4. Also students could store things in their bags that are a distraction from learning.

      You mean like books?

      1. You have to learn to submit and then your real (re)education begins.

    5. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was like a free market in the education system, where people could decide on these things for themselves through their purchasing decisions.

    6. If it was demonstrated that nobody else ever got to carry a bag, and this was enforced evenhandedly, that would be fine – because one could believe that was really the motivation.

      But I see no reason to believe that that “policy” existed (meaningfully, in the sense of actually being enforced) before this incident or was ever enforced against, oh, all the girls at the school and their purses/handbags/etc.

      (Also, er, the point of a student manual is half to say “we told you about this policy” and prove it’s not some ad-hoc bullshit.)

      1. Just wait until all the girls are told they can no longer have purses in the core classrooms. He doesn’t stand a chance of avoiding being bullied by the girls. Fortunately, all females are compassionate and virtuous, so he’ll be OK

  16. Because there’s a gun in the purse right?! Right?!

    1. Does a .380 ACP qualify as a gun?

      1. No, that’s a toy.

        1. Can I shoot you with one?

          No?

          Right.

  17. Hey, if you don’t freak out every time a school official tells a kid he can’t do something, you’re not a true libertarian.

    1. I failed the test last week when I couldn’t muster the outrage to care about bush pee-ers in Tulsa, OK possibly not being able to put a pumpkin on their porch.

      Bullshit? Yes, but sometimes I need to sit out on the outraging.

  18. My high school in SC had a similar policy about bookbags “because you could hide a gun”. Never mind that a student could just slip said gun under a hoodie if he really wanted to start shit off in a certain classroom. I can’t remember if the same thing applied to purses, but either way its a really stupid rule. And the article’s right, if it was a long standing rule there should have been something in the student handbook.

    1. At my high school, you weren’t allowed to carry a bag from class to class. You had to stack your books and stop by your locker in between classes.

      You could use a backpack to carry your books to and from school, but the backpack had to be mesh. And being a nerd, I had to get a new backpack every three months because the mesh ones tear apart so easy.

      You could wear hoodies – because they were so popular in supporting the sports teams – but you couldn’t put the hood up.

      1. I eventually stopped bothering to even pick up the books because my high school was about a half mile long and I couldn’t cross it twice in the ten minutes between classes (remember, those halls were packed full of crowds), let alone open and root through a locker. By my sophomore year, I never even bothered to look for where my assigned locker was located – I never used one again.

        Luckily, the teachers tought to the lowest common denominator, so I was still ahead of the class.

        1. Yeah, I was at a county magnet program that did International Baccalaureate, but it was on the same campus as what might as well have been an inner city school.

          So, I got a great education through doing the IB program, but got exposed to all the horrors of a lowest common denominator public school.

        2. “Luckily, the teachers tought to the lowest common denominator, so I was still ahead of the class.”

          In Sophmore Year I got in a discussion with my Chemistry Teacher.

          It started out with my sleeping in class and moved on to asking why I never turned in any homework or brought my book to class.

          I told him something to the effect of…

          “Well, the concepts you are teaching are simple and once I understand them I don’t need to pay attention to you till you move on to the next one, Your course syllabus lists homework as only 10% of my grade and you can’t write a test that anyone else in here could pass that I wouldn’t ace so I don’t see it as being worth my time. Plus the Chemistry book is too large and heavy so I just leave it in my locker for safe keeping.”

          And amazingly he was a rather cool teacher and knew I was right so he never bothered me for sleeping in his class again, he’d just wake me up from time to time when no one else in the class could answer a question he had written on the board.

  19. Does anyone else feel this country is going through a period of intense cultural-cognative-dissonance?

    on one level we’ve got everyone in the national media & politics yarping about Freedoms for the gays and marriage and equality and protections as though we’ve nationally crossed a line into a Sex In the City mentality where we’re all just cools with stuff now so get over it girl…

    Yet people still freak out about sex stuff all over the place. i.e. we’re still AS puritan if not more so than we were in the 1980s, in my view.

    Similarly = crime is at all time lows. yet paranoia has never seemed more ubiquitous. Even in the semi-rural area i’m in now (palmyra VA – what up RB) it seems like no one lets their kids run around outside unless they’re being ‘supervised’. Maybe its just me being old and crusty – but I noticed more kids let loose and messing around on their own in NYC than I do down here.

    I could probably go on in a theme about National Defense, pointing out that we’re safer than any time during the cold war, yet are still paranoid about some miniscule terror threats half a planet away….

    Anyway. just a thought.

    1. I get the same impression and it is very strange. Peoples paranoia about their kids I find especially troubling. Unstructured independent play is incredibly important for kids. Otherwise you end up with a bunch of people who don’t know what to do unless they are told. We’ve got 7 year olds riding around in car seats now, for fuck’s sake. When I was 5 I remember I was pissed that they instituted a seat belt law for under 6.

      1. Yeah, it’s terrible. I used to get pissed when my mom would show up at school or at birthday parties (she rarely did this) but now it seems like parents are everywhere and the kids don’t seem to mind. I have a 16 month old and I wonder what it’s going to be like when he gets to be elementary school age. My generation pretty much sucks at raising independent people.

        1. This is why I don’t really want to have kids until and unless I am rich enough to do it exactly how I want to.

      2. “Unstructured independent play”

        formerly known as “play”

        1. Sad to have to explain that, isn’t it?

      3. people who don’t know what to do unless they are told

      4. My wife flipped out about the idea that our (still not quite here) son might be able to walk next to (without ever having to cross) the busy 4 lane by our house with no sidewalk but plenty of grass for a quarter mile to get a soda at the gas station or toys at Walmart by himself at 6 or 8. I was surprised that it was an issue.

        1. OMG YOU ARE GOING TO LET HIM DRINK SODA!!!!??? / derp

          6-8yrs old, I used to travel miles alone on foot/by bike to various locations to acquire candy/comic books/fireworks, or go places to start fires/break stuff/rummage in junkyards etc. I don’t remember when the boundaries opened up from “stay in the immediate area”, but i’d guess it was around 6.

          A particular favorite destination was of course a place I “wasn’t supposed to go” = a “Pony/Colt” League Baseball stadium in a Hispanic neighborhood a couple miles away. I don’t know why they told me to stay away= the people were nicer than most people in my own neighborhood, although I didn’t speak spanish. The funny part is I’d go to the stadium to read. I never liked baseball. They had really cheap ice-pops and candy, like $.10-.25 at most.

          Yeah, I don’t know what the hell being a kid would be like if you weren’t always going just a little bit farther than you were ‘supposed to’ all the time. The unwritten rules were always the most important = hit the other guy first, never snitch, as long as nothing’s broken it’ll be OK, and get home for dinner.

    2. I think it’s just symptomatic of life rapidly becoming easier. In the past, you’d be too busy just trying to figure out how to make ends meet. Now you worry about whether you should get the cell phone with 7.1 surround sound, or the one with the 2.3 gigapixel camera.

      With respect to your (recent, relatively speaking) ancestors, you look pretty pathetic for worrying about such things; you don’t put your finger on why, but you feel guilty about it, and all else follows. So you worry about nonexistent threats, and take up unnecessary causes, because it fills a hole in your consciousness. It doesn’t matter whether the threats are real, or the causes vacuous, because their purpose is internal to yourself.

    3. “Similarly = crime is at all time lows. yet paranoia has never seemed more ubiquitous.”

      Maybe because people are paranoid about crime they are more careful about becoming victims thereof.

      Think James Taranto’s “Fox Butterfield Effect.”

      1. Possibly, but I think more of it is just unrelated.

        Crime is low for various reasons (enforcement, economics, culture, blah blah).

        Paranoia about crime is in great part fed by people latching on to media pushing it – not for nefarious Culture War Reasons, but because it gets eyeballs on screen.

        And people sharing things like that on Facebook “because you never know”.

        (“Ten common household things that have already killed your kids and pets!” is the non-crime version.)

      2. “Maybe because people are paranoid about crime they are more careful about becoming victims thereof.”

        That’s not at all what I’m talking about, nor can you turn this into a chicken/egg thing.

        An example I’d give was regarding my brothers kids = I asked why they didn’t travel by themselves to school: answer, “the world’s a lot more dangerous than when we were kids”

        The area crime rate is 1/2 what it was when we were kids.

        He countered “but the crimes that happen are worse”

        I mentioned a few murders from our childhood, then asked for recent comparisons = Zero.

        Final conclusion = “you’d feel different if you had kids”

        That’s not a “butterfield effect” = that’s a freaking cultural delusion.

    4. As a country we’re more concerned about equality than liberty.

      Gay marriage, for example, makes perfectly good sense as a liberty issue, but not so much as one of equality. Homo and hetero are not at all equal and never can be. Why should they be? But couples should be able to pool their assets together under legal protection as a matter of freedom–not equality.

      1. Equality means (at least) two different things. There is material equality, which is obviously not something that should (if it were even possible) be enforced. Equality under the law, on the other hand is certainly desirable and has something to do with same sex marriage.

    5. ‘ it seems like no one lets their kids run around outside unless they’re being ‘supervised'”

      I think that is more fear of your kids getting into trouble and someone calling CPS on you than fear of crime.

      And it is a legitimate fear as I have had a neighbor call CPS on me because we let our then 6 and 8 year old kids play outside in our yard and the cul-de-sac we lived in “unsupervised” (i.e. parent in the house checking up on them from time to time).

      Note: this was all in a dead end upper middle class subdivision so the risks of their playing unsupervised were minimal at best

      1. “And it is a legitimate fear as I have had a neighbor call CPS on me because we let our then 6 and 8 year old kids play outside in our yard “

        It things like this when the kids should take the law into their own hands.

        I’m thinking specifically, flaming bag of dog poo. Although there are other methods.

    6. I think you are right. It seems like only the things that are “in” are being legalized. Try arguing about lower the age of consent/majority, legalizing polygamy, or talking about fiscal issues, and people baulk. It seems like liberty is only all right only when the media blesses it. We are not only on the road to serfdom, but to idiocracy as well.

  20. Hey, call it a “hip pack”.

    1. Especially if you go to Australia.

  21. Just don’t take the purse to class? Unless there’s some discrimination or bullying going on here, then I don’t see a problem with the schools policy. I remember not being allowed to have certain things in class when I was in grade school so that we wouldn’t be distracted from the lesson. The way the article is written makes it sound like the rule applies to everyone, so what’s the problem here?

  22. I had the same problem when I tried to wear my Wayne Brady lunchbox to class.

  23. Maybe I can use this kid wearing Vera Bradley to convince my wife to stop buying it.

    1. Yeah becasue that will stop her from spending money on something else equally useless.

      1. I’ll give her credit, she has limited herself to maybe one new one a year (still ridiculous IMO, considering every one she owns looks brand new).

        And she’s not really into buying stupid shoes, so that’s good too.

        1. My wife bought a Kate Spade diaper bag that looks a whole lot like a purse… for ONLY $160. Of course, the fact that I shout, “OMG! Is that a Kate Spade?!” every time I see it seems to have gotten my point across. I’ll stop eventually. Well, I’ll do it less. Stop… I don’t know. I’d have to have gene therapy to remove my asshole gene before I stopped completely.

          1. Mine took one of her larger VB bags and used it as a diaper bag.

            I think she did it to mess with my head, since we have a boy. She was probably hoping I would protest so she could buy something else. I did not, and it has worked fine for two years.

          2. When our kids were that kind of age we had a dark blue diaper bag from Land’s End. It held up great through 4 kids.
            Seems to me it was something like that price nearly 30 years ago.

            1. ^^this, except I’d be shocked if we spent $100 on diaper bags TOTAL for all three kids.

              We just knew we needed something BIG, denim and indestructible(esp. by #3)

              1. Oh, I agree. I wanted to just go to Amazon, filter on all the 4.5 star ones and buy the biggest one we could find for $50. I actually don’t care about toting around a designer purse with my kid. I lost. But I’m getting my $100 of differential value out of shouting “Kate! Spade!” every time I see it.

      2. I looked at VB’s website just beause of this article.

        Her “over the shoulder” purses seemed to go for about $50 – handbags $50-100.

        If they don’t fall apart in a year or two, that’s actually a perfectly decent value.

        EDC gear is not useless, after all – and it’s no less EDC for not being called that by most women.

  24. If I were him I’d double down and go to school wearing a dress. Diversity is one thing but being different is just going way to far.

    But seriously, we all know that girls get to carry purses and boys don’t because girls carry tampons in them and boys carry assault weapons.

  25. 13-year-old Skyler Davis, an 8th-grader in Anderson County Junior-Senior School in Garnett, Kansas, just wants to wear his Vera Bradley purse to class, but some folks are just being jerks about it.

    Well, I don’t care if I’m a jerk about it! I mean, god! That flower stamping with that color shirt and sweatshirt? What is he thinking? Those colors are hideous! And those jeans! Ugh! Darling, you look like you just snatched those clothes from a sale in a Good Will store! What a waste of a fantastic purse!

  26. I think the real issue is that it’s an ugly bag. Who is Vera Bradley? And why does he have her purse?

  27. We had a no bags policy in high school. I think it was justified on the grounds that kids would otherwise leave them on the floor next to their desks, and they created a tripping hazards. It’s not a crazy policy. But of course, if you’re going to have it, you need to enforce it equally.

    1. Maybe kids need to learn to look where they’re going.

      1. Maybe. But that doesn’t mean the school is crazy for having the policy. It’s a reasonable concern and a reasonable way of dealing with it. There are other ways of course.

  28. OK, I know I should be all “ZOMFG1!11!eleventy!!” about this, and I’m just…not. Maybe cause it’s Friday and it’s been a long week.

    I even RTFA, and i’m still stuck at the picture. “Dude, Middle School is WAY to young to have perfected your ‘punch me in the face multiple times , forever’ look”….along with the suck clothes and fag bag (NTTAWWT).

    I know – I’m a dick. But dicks fuck pussies! AND – they can also fuck assholes. So while this pussy is getting shit on by assholes, I say fuck both of them, cause I’m a dick.

    So there.

    1. Fuck Yeah!

    2. Thank you for saying what I was thinking.

      I took a glance and some deep-seating instinct told me = “If you were in this kids school, you’d beat the shit out of him”.

      Hell, I’d probably pick on his *dad*.

  29. Good Lord, I think the Bieber look-alike has got a point even if he has a horrible sense of fashion. That purse shouldn’t be carried after Labor Day, dumbass.

  30. And by the way, is Skylar Johnny’s son?

  31. I grew up about 30 minutes away from this town. I guess that’s about as close to famous as I’m going to get.

    In my shitty little town’s high school only 25 years ago, I took a speech class. One of the speeches we had to give was a “demonstration” speech. For his demonstration speech, one guy brings in his rifle, shows us how to disassemble and reassemble the thing. No shit. I guess we were lucky people weren’t shooting up the place every day.

    1. Our demonstration speech was to do a live commercial for a product we made up. I was partnered with one of the best looking girls in the school (because I was fucking cool) and we did a chocolate chip cookie where I got to throw her into a backflip. About half the times we practiced it I copped a cheap feel on her. She didn’t mind.

      That’s it. That’s the entire story.

      1. That’s a wonderful story.

      2. Why couldn’t the squirrels post that twice so I could read it again?

      3. But did you get enthusiastic consent or are you a rapist?

      4. “And that’s one to grow on”

  32. This is the greatest injustice in the history of the world.

    1. ^^^THIS^^^

    2. YOU CAN SEE THE HORROR OF THE DEATH CAMPS IN HIS EYES

  33. That’s… not a purse… that’s one those totally ridiculous “Messenger bags” which are oh-so popular with the Millennial Hipsters now.

  34. “We’re going to have to find some compromise in this,” his mother said. She didn’t detail what that could be.

    I believe that “compromise” in this situation means, Skyler (is his name really Skyler? Because that’s too awesome) is not going to wear the purse to school, and the school gives up nothing.

    Compromise usually means both sides give up something, it’s not just one side giving up his Rush Limbaugh hats.

    1. My guess: the school recognizes Skyler’s right to carry a purse and express himself but only to non-core classes.

      IOW, it’s the same as what you said but with the school patting Skyler on the head.

  35. Even Skyler’s own brother is on his side.

    His brother is in the purse?

  36. I expect better from Reason. The policy is no bags in core classes. Equally applied to everyone (on paper). He broke the school rule.

  37. I think that is called a man bag, not a purse.

  38. the other kids aren’t giving him a hard time? It’s an entire school full of sissies.

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