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'Banana Man' Triumphs Over Slip Up

A bit of good, fun news in Virginia.

A bunch of grapes interviews a single banana.
A bunch of grapes interviews a single banana.

Among all the bananas in this world, Virginia's Bryan Thompson stands out as a plum.

The boy, whose mother says he is autistic, is finally graduating from school, NBC Washington reports, three years after he was handcuffed and then suspended for 10 days for running around the sidelines of a high school football game at halftime dressed as a banana.

The reaction: Thompson gained widespread attention as "Banana Man," with friends and supporters at Colonial Forge High School in Stafford County donning "Free Banana Man" t-shirts, which somewhat humorless school administrators banned until the ACLU stepped in.

On the opposite end of the sense-of-humor spectrum, News4 reporter Pat Collins donned a suit of giant grapes following the incident while interviewing Thompson who, fittingly, discussed the rotten punishment while donning his still-yellow banana suit.

"I just wanted to make people happy," Thompson told Collins back in 2011.

All of the attention apparently worked, with the suspension lifted and Thompson'a academic career back on track, capped with a mortarboard, according to News4, during Saturday's graduation.

A kid cuffed and suspended for dressing like a banana wasn't the first time school officials failed to relate to what kids find funny.

As The Columbus Dispatch reported, two Ohio seventh-graders were suspended about the same time as Thompson for the very seventh-grade activity of cutting the cheese without passing the crackers.

And The Week chronicled the "7 Dumbest Reasons School Kids Get Suspended," including the disciplining of a 6-year-old for sexual harassment. His deed: singing "I'm Sexy and I Know It."

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