Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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“Banana man” fallout

I’m hearing from more Colonial Forge High School parents who say their children have been told to remove “Free banana man” shirts. 

A father said his daughter received Saturday school as punishment. He said an administrator acknowledged his daughter was respectful, but he was told  “it was disruptive because students were wearing them, and students were talking about it, and that the administration couldn’t have that because it was challenging the administration’s authority.” 

He said he asked the administrator to take his daughter out of Saturday school, but she refused and said he could appeal the punishment.

“I’ve always told my children that they have a right to disagree…with anything as long as they’re respectful and not disruptive,” the father said.

Another parent said her son, who had “Free banana man” fliers, received Saturday school.

The ACLU of Virginia says the Stafford County school appears to be violating students’ First Amendment rights. Check out today’s story here.

Stafford schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim said yesterday the division was reviewing the ACLU’s claims. She had no further comment.

Check back to this blog for updates.