Should he be allowed to bring his "My Little Pony" bag to school or for safety sake, leave it at home?
BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. (WRIC)â€”A North Carolina mother whose son has been bullied for bringing a â€śMy Little Ponyâ€ť bag to class says school officials now wonâ€™t let him bring the bag to school.
Grayson Bruce is a big fan of â€śMy Little Pony,â€ť a cartoon that emphasizes to children that â€śfriendship is magic.â€ť But his interest has caused the 9-year-old to be bullied at school; his classmates say his favorite toy is for girls.
â€śTheyâ€™re taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldnâ€™t happen,â€ť Bruce told WLOS News13, an ABC affiliate in Asheville, N.C. â€śMost of the characters in the show are girls, and most of the people put it toward girls, most of the toys are girlie.â€ť
Noreen Bruce supports her sonâ€™s love of the show saying, â€śItâ€™s promoting friendship, there [are] no bad words, thereâ€™s no violence; itâ€™s hard to find that, even in cartoons now.â€ť
Grayson even has his own following on Facebook, after a friend created a support page for him. Profile pictures of a gray pony with glasses and the message â€ś<3 for Graysonâ€ť are circulating on Facebook.
Last week, Graysonâ€™s school asked him to leave his Rainbow Dash bag at home, because officials felt it was a distraction and a â€śtrigger for bullying.â€ť
Noreen Bruce disagrees with the schoolâ€™s request and wants her sonâ€™s bullies to be punished for their actions.
â€śSaying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape,â€ť she said. â€śItâ€™s flawed logic; it doesnâ€™t make any sense.â€ť
Buncombe County Schools declined an interview with WLOS News13 but said in a statement, â€śan initial step was taken to immediately address a situation that had created a disruption in the classroom. Buncombe County Schools takes bullying very seriously, and we will continue to take steps to resolve this issue.â€ť
Grayson Bruce isnâ€™t the only North Carolina â€śBronyâ€ťâ€”a popular term used to describe male â€śMy Little Ponyâ€ť fansâ€”to make headlines for being bullied about his interest in the show. In January, 11-year-old Michael Morones, of Wake County, tried to commit suicide because he was tormented at school for his love of â€śMy Little Pony.â€ť Morones hung himself off the side of his bunk bed.
â€śEleven to 15-year-old boys are very much at risk for thinking about suicide when theyâ€™re perceived as being gay,â€ť bullying prevention expert Nancy Mullin told WTVD.
According to ABC affiliate WTVD in Raleigh, Morones has been moved out of the intensive care unit at WakeMed; he will eventually be transported to a facility that can assist with brain trauma and neurological rehabilitation.
â€śThe missing piece here is what the school is doing about this,â€ť Mullin said, adding that while North Carolina is one of 49 states with bullying prevention laws, she doesnâ€™t feel enough is being done to implement successful programs