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'Banana Man' principal resigns

Tuesday - 9/27/2011, 11:09pm  ET

WASHINGTON -- The principal at Colonial Forge High School, where a student was suspended recently after running onto the football field in a banana suit, announced her resignation on Tuesday night.

The Stafford County School Board unanimously accepted Karen Spillman's resignation at a closed session on Tuesday night, says Valerie Cottongim, Stafford County schools spokeswoman.

The school made national headlines after 14-year-old Bryant Thompson was suspended for 10 days after running onto the football field during a game on Sept. 16 wearing a banana costume.

Some students protested the suspension, wearing "Free Banana Man" T-shirts, and were told to remove the shirts, some reporting having their shirts confiscated.

The ACLU chimed in on the incident, saying the school must allow the students to wear the T-shirts as a matter of free speech rights.

After the uproar, schools superintendent Randy Bridges apologized for the school's response to the protesting students.

Cottongim says she has "absolutely no comment" on whether the banana costume incident is related to the resignation.

An interim principal will be appointed until a search may be conducted to fill the position. Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education, Dr. Lisa Martin will supervise the school until the interim principal is assigned.

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