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Brian Thompson, Virginia Student, Suspended For 'Banana Man' Stunt At Football Game

First Posted: 09/20/11 04:00 PM ET Updated: 11/20/11 05:12 AM ET

A 14-year-old from Stafford, Va. is being suspended from school for 10 days after being handcuffed and placed in a cop car for what he says was a "harmless prank."

Brian Thompson, a student at Colonial Forge High School, ran down the sidelines at a school football game last week wearing a banana costume -- an act that school officials didn't take kindly to.

A student told Fox DC that Thompson was just trying to make halftime more fun, but in a letter to the student's mother Tavia Thompson, school officials wrote that the act was evidence of:

"disobedience of an administrator, disrespectful behavior toward an administrator, disruption of an activity, refusal to follow directions of an administrator, any violation of the student handbook, including a continued disregard of the Student Code of Conduct and any other conduct considered by the principal to be disruptive and presenting an immediate danger to the welfare, health, and safety of any person.."

The school district says Thompson can appeal the decision.

Thompson was not arrested, but his mother told Fox DC that she thinks the student is being over-punished for impulsiveness from his autism.

Thompson's peers are standing behind him on the Web and in school. Some students wore "Free Banana Man" T-shirts to class, but had them confiscated by school officials, according to Fox DC.

"Tomorrow I plan on going to school with a sign that says, 'Free Banana Man' and another sign that says 'Banana Man needs his education too,'" Thompson says.

In May, two Ohio seventh-graders were suspended for alleged flatulence on a school bus.

Most recently, states including Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Texas have started to examine what many consider "regimented" school discipline policies -- ones that currently could lead students to face ticketing or charges for minor misbehaviors like doodling on a desk.

Watch the news report above and footage from the game below. Do you think the punishment fits the crime?

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Filed by Emmeline Zhao  |