Boy banned for My Little Pony bag

Last updated 17:39 19/03/2014
Grayson Bruce
ABC NEWS

BULLIED: Grayson Bruce and his mother Noreen tell his story to ABC News.

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An American boy, 9, has been banned from taking a My Little Pony bag to school because he was being bullied for it.

Grayson Bruce, from Buncombe County, North Carolina, told his mum he was being taunted by other pupils. She told staff at the school, expecting the pupils responsible would be punished.

What the school did was ban Grayson's bag, saying it was a trigger for bullying.

"Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying, is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape," Noreen Bruce told television ABC News.

"It's flawed logic, it doesn't make any sense."

Grayson said: "(the bullies) are taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn't happen."

His mother said My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic had a positive message. "It's promoting friendship, there's no bad words, there's no violence, it's hard to find that, even in cartoons now."

Buncombe County Schools issued 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."

A Facebook page called Support For Grayson had more than 42,000 likes.

It said Grayson's family was doing a lot behind the scenes.

"There is a lot more going on than just media coverage - we've got this!"

Much of the support comes from so-called Bronies - a word made up from the combination of brothers and ponies - who are male fans of My Little Pony.

Among those tweeting about Grayson have been My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic creator Lauren Faust and co-executive producer/head writer Meghan McCarthy.

"Grayson would be beside himself with excitement at Bronycon! I'm almost afraid to show him this tweet because of the screaming he will do," the Facebook page said in reply.

It's the second case to make the headlines this year of boys being picked on for being fans of the programme.

In January, 11-year-old Michael Morones, also from North Carolina, was thought to have attempted suicide after allegedly being taunted by his classmates for being a fan of the television programme. His classmates said the programme was "gay".

Grayson's family has also been in touch with the Morones family as they help Michael, who has brain damage and continues to receive medical treatment.

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