ACLU backs wearers of 'Free Banana Man' T-shirts

Bryan Thompson, a.k.a. Banana Man, is facing expulsion. (Photo: Autria Godfrey)

STAFFORD, Va. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union has told administrators at a Stafford County high school that they must allow students to wear T-shirts protesting the suspension of a classmate who sprinted around a football field wearing a banana costume.

ACLU of Virginia legal director Rebecca Glenberg sent the letter to Colonial Forge High School officials Thursday after students reported being told to remove their yellow "Free Banana Man" T-shirts. Some students also said their T-shirts were confiscated.

Glenberg's letter urges school officials to respect the students' constitutional right to free speech.

Stafford schools spokeswoman Valerie Cottongim says school officials are reviewing the letter.

She previously told the Free Lance-Star that a couple of T-shirts were confiscated because students were whipping them around like "rally rags" and creating a disturbance.