Mom: School bans son's 'My Little Pony' backpack due to bullying risk

March 18, 2014 (CANDLER, N.C.)

The boy says he's been shoved around by bullies who think his favorite toy is only for girls.

It's a decades-old kids show where pony characters emphasize the bonds of friendship. It's become anything but friendship for 9-year-old Grayson Bruce.

"If you watch the show, it's really not that girlie," said Grayson. "They're taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn't happen."

Grayson picked a Rainbow Dash backpack, which he says has intensified the attacks against him. He understands why some kids call him names.

"Most of the characters in the show are girls, and most of the people put it toward girls, most of the toys are girlie," he said.

Grayson has developed a following on Facebook after a friend made a support page for him. Grayson stands by his favorite cartoon and the message he says it sends. His mother says? Why not?

"It's promoting friendship, there's no bad words, there's no violence, it's hard to find that, even in cartoons now," said mom Noreen Bruce.

But Noreen Bruce says Thursday, the school asked Grayson to leave the pack at home because it had become a distraction and was a "trigger for bullying." "Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying, is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. It's flawed logic, it doesn't make any sense," Noreen Bruce said.

Noreen Bruce said she wants punishment for the students involved. Buncombe County Schools declined an interview, but sent a statement saying, "An 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."

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.