A 9-year-old North Carolina boy and his mother are speaking out on Wednesday after his elementary school suggested he refrain from carrying a “My Little Pony” backpack to school because he keeps getting bullied.
WKRN reported on Wednesday that the youngster, who is a huge fan of the cartoon show “My Little Pony” and its paraphernalia, was told that his pony backpack is a distraction.
Grayson Bruce says he likes the message of “My Little Pony”, which reportedly promotes friendship and caring. Bruce’s affinity for the ponies has come at a cost however, Bruce says that he gets mercilessly bullied at school for it.
“They’re taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn’t happen,” says Bruce, who admits many people look upon the “My Little Pony” series as “girlie.”
Now Bruce’s school is asking Bruce to stop bringing his Rainbow Dash “My Little Pony” to school. The Buncombe County school said the backpack was a “trigger for bullying” and disrupted the classroom.
Bruce’s mother, Noreen Bruce, thinks the school is punishing the wrong person however.
“Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape,” she said. “It’s flawed logic; it doesn’t make any sense.”
Bruce has his supporters too. A group of friends have enlisted social media in effort to stand up for Bruce and his “My Little Pony” message.
ABC Affiliate WTVD reports that bullying among “bronies”, a term used to describe boys who like “My Little Pony” is not uncommon. In January, an 11-year-old North Carolina boy tried to commit suicide by hanging himself after being repeatedly bullied over his love for the show. Although the boy lived, he is said to have suffered significant brain damage.