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Published on Oct 4, 2011
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First Amendment, NBC Affiliate WRC, Washington, DC
Washington, DC stations have been folllowing recently was the case of Bryan Thompson, a 14-year-old student at Colonial Forge High School who was suspended for running onto the field during a school football game — wearing a banana costume — earlier this month.
Thompson was interviewed by WRC reporter Pat Collins this week (watch the video, above). Thompson wore the infamous banana suit, and Collins, not to be outdone, dressed like a grape, in a not-so-subtle attempt to make the point that Thompson was doing nothing wrong.
"It starts with a banana," Collins said in his report. "Then all of a sudden you have an apple, and an orange, and then maybe a grape, and before you know it, you have fruit salad in the schools. We can't have that."
Students who protested Thompson's 10-day suspension were given detention. Faced with an onslaught of criticism — from reports like this one, as well as advocacy groups like the ACLU, school principal Karen Spillman resigned on Wednesday. All the suspensions were lifted.