Legend of "Banana Man" Grows

Teen's banana costume stunt lands him in hot water

By Andy Salsman
|  Thursday, Sep 22, 2011  |  Updated 7:41 PM EDT
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A Stafford County high school student is suspended for wearing a banana costume and running around the football field at halftime.

Pat Collins

A Stafford County high school student is suspended for wearing a banana costume and running around the football field at halftime.

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Some fans wear their favorite team’s jersey to football games. Others go a step further and paint their faces and perhaps even paint a letter on their chests.

One Stafford County, Va., teen took a different approach to cheering on his high school’s football team: He dressed up as a banana and ran across the field during halftime of his school's most recent game.

"I just wanted to make people happy," Bryan Thompson said.

Bryan’s classmates might have found the stunt funny, but administrators at Colonial Forge High School aren’t laughing. They’ve suspended the 14-year-old freshman for 10 days. He could also be suspended for the rest of the school year.

How did Bryan's mother find out about the incident?  Fredericksburg.com explains:

Tavia Thompson said she learned Bryan was in trouble after receiving a text message from her older son, who was also at the football game. The gist of his message was, "Mom, come quick. You know how the school can't take a joke. They just arrested [Bryan] for running down the football field in a banana suit."

Bryan’s mother and classmates are coming to his defense. His mother is appealing the suspension, arguing that her son is autistic. His classmates chose to make a fashion statement of their own in their support of Bryan; they wore “Free Banana Man” shirts to school Monday.

The American Civil Liberties Union told school administrators they must allow students to wear the shirts in protest. Students reported being told to remove the shirts, the Associated Press reported. Some students said their shirts were confiscated.

Schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim said school officials are reviewing the letter from the ACLU. She previously told the Free Lance-Star a couple of shirts were confiscated from students who were whipping them around like "rally rags" and creating a disturbance.

Bryan also created a "Free Banana Man" hip-hop song.

You can watch Banana Man's run for glory below (warning: strong language):

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