EDUCATION

Bryan Thompson, student suspended for banana man stunt, returns to school

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Students at one Virginia school rallied around their fellow student, now known as banana man.

Bryan Thompson was suspended for running onto the football field wearing a banana costume. After one week out of school, he was able to return to Colonial Forge high school Monday with the support of his fellow students.

"He was very anxious to get back to school. He actually went back with a whole new demeanor,” said his mother Tavia Thompson.

Bryan and his mother met with the school superintendent Monday morning, where she says they talked about productive ways for Bryan to use his running skills and affinity for cartoon suits.

"We talked about him joining the track team,” Thompson said. “We also talked about him trying out for the school mascot so he'll go from a banana to an eagle.”

Thousands of Facebook fans and friends from school rallied behind Bryan Thompson when the principal threatened to press charges and expel him for the halftime prank.

"There are consequences for things but it was a little harsh on him,” said Edwin Alvarez.

Some students think the outcry was less about the banana suit but more a backlash against a principal seen as overly strict by some.

"The reason the kids are lashing out is they're lashing out against the administration. They're not trying to be for banana man. They're looking for a reason to go against the new principal,” said student Marissa McCormick.

Bryan has Asperger's syndrome, which is a high-functioning form of autism. He plans to publish a website selling banana man t-shirts and music on Tuesday. Half the proceeds will go to an autism charity. Mother Tavia hopes it will help bring increase awareness for her son’s disease.

“People don't understand autism and they look at these kids as being troublemakers or bad kids and it's just they have this social disorder,” she said.

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