Banana Man is free.
After becoming a national story and a YouTube sensation, Bryan Thompson, a.k.a. Banana Man, is being allowed back in school.
He was suspended from Colonial Forge High School in Stafford, and faced possible expulsion, for running onto the football field wearing a banana costume during a game.
But after serving five days of a 10-day suspension, the 14-year-old sophomore is making his way back to school on Monday
The move seemed heavy-handed to some parents and students.
"I honestly think they were trying to use me as an example," Thompson says. "Kids get expelled from school for drugs and fighting and stuff. What I did was not along those lines at all."
Thompson says more than a thousand people came to Banana Man's aid with a little free speech.
Soon, his fellow students were wearing t-shirts to school, declaring "Free Banana Man." And posters showed up at the school.
Bryan Thompson, Banana Man, has suspension lifted
STAFFORD, Va. - With chants and cheers from the crowd, a giant banana bolted across the 50 yard line at the Colonial Forge High School football game last week.
A video of the incident posted on YouTube has become a huge hit, garnering more than 50,000 views.
Inside the banana suit was sophomore Bryan Thompson. The incident was funny to everyone except school administrators.
Thompson was initially suspended for 10 days and was recommended for expulsion. It’s punishment that Thompson says the principal is taking too far.
"She wants to make an example out of me, but my education isn't something to be made an example of,” he said.
But on Friday, the school lifted the suspension, said his mother. The school will allow Thompson to return to school on Monday.
His mom says her son, who suffers from autism, can sometimes go too far when it comes to cutting up.
"I just truly believed he wanted to be entertaining and make people laugh and didn't cause any harm to anybody,” said his mother Tavia Thompson.
Classmates agree and are rallying around their beloved banana man.
"They're being way too harsh,” said senior Colin Hill. “Being suspended 10 days is something you get for fighting and he wasn't fighting."
Administrators said on Thursday: "Our discipline recommendations are not made in isolation. Our appeals process allows for students and parents to exercise their due process rights should they disagree with the principal's recommendation."