School Bans Bullied Boy's My Little Pony Backpack, Faces Backlash
Tuesday, 18 Mar 2014 07:10 PM
By Angela Deines
A 9-year-old North Carolina boy is getting nationwide attention and support after his school told him last week he could no longer bring his My Little Pony backpack to school because the school claims the bag “triggered bullying.”
Noreen Bruce, the boy’s mother, informed the principal at Candler Elementary in Asheville, N.C., that her son, Grayson Bruce, was getting bullied for wearing the small My Little Pony backpack, which he was using as his lunch box, to school, the Citizen-Times reported.
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The school then told the boy to simply stop bringing the backpack, causing a national outcry, including support from one of the cartoon’s creators, Lauren Faust, and conservative radio show host Glenn Beck.
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“I absolutely never expected this kind of response,” Noreen Bruce told the Citizen-Times. “I just wanted my 9-year-old to be allowed to be a kid, and to be who he is.
It means the world to him to know that not everyone is cruel, to see this kind of support,” she added. “It’s been great for him.”
A Facebook page with a #SupportforGrayson hashtag has also garnered nearly 35,000 “likes” as of Tuesday afternoon.
Noreen Bruce said children at Grayson’s school were shoving her son and calling him “horrible names” for carrying small blue bag with the cartoon pony that is usually geared toward girls.
She said she plans to meet with the school district’s superintendent on Thursday to discuss the incident.
Jason Rhodes, the Buncombe County Schools spokesman, told the Citizen-Times that Candler Elementary “wants to resolve the issue” but said because of legal considerations, he couldn’t comment further specifically about Grayson. However, Rhodes released the following statement:
“First and foremost, our schools take any allegations of bullying seriously and work diligently in all cases to resolve the issues in the best interest of students. We have programs in place to prevent, report, and intervene to keep our students safe and protected. Our counselors and social workers teach anti-bullying strategies and provide counseling support as well.”
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