A 9-year-old boy from North Carolina was bullied — punched, pushed and called names — for bringing a My Little Pony lunch sack to school. The school has responded by telling the boy, Grayson Bruce, to leave the sack at home, calling it a “trigger for bullying.”
Grayson says My Little Pony is his favorite cartoon. In a statement, the school said that Grayson’s bag “created a disruption in the classroom.” The school said they were looking into the conduct of the bullies but have, to date, taken no public action.
Grayson’s mom, Noreen, objected to the school’s position, telling their local ABC affliate that “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.”
The incident has created a growing grassroots movement online supporting Grayson. Over 15,000 people have joined the “Support For Grayson” Facebook page. Even Glenn Beck showed his support this morning by appearing with a My Little Pony doll on his radio show, telling Grayson “there are jerks everywhere.” (Beck, however, interspersed his words of encouragement with unrelated and seemingly transphobic commentary.)
This is not the first time that male fans of My Little Pony, called Bronies, have been subject to harassment. In February, an 11-year-old boy tried to commit suicide after experiencing relentless bullying for being a fan of My Little Pony. He faces “potentially life-long brain damage.” The Brony community has since raised $73,000 to support the costs of his recovery.
Grayson wins. On March 20, the school issued a statement on Facebook: “We sincerely regret that the issue of being told to leave the bookbag at home was perceived as blaming Grayson. While that was not the intent, the perception became reality. We support Grayson bringing the bookbag to school.”