School bans 9-year-old boy's My Little Pony backpack

USA Today:

School bans 9-year-old boy’s My Little Pony backpack

An elementary school in Buncombe County, N.C., banned 9-year-old Grayson Bruce from carrying his My Little Pony backpack earlier this month saying it triggered bullying.
Kids in the school picked on Grayson for carrying the fuzzy, blue bag with cartoon pony Rainbow Dash’s face on it. One morning it got to be too much.
“He didn’t want to get out of the car because kids were being really mean,” his mom, Noreen Bruce, told USA TODAY Network. She decided to get the school counselor involved, but didn’t get the help she expected.

“One of her suggestions was to hide it,” Noreen Bruce said. “She said that if you have something like this you’re asking for trouble.” Later, the principal called and told her to keep the backpack at home.
Bruce didn’t agree: “I said, 'You’re missing the picture here. You’re telling him that it’s OK for them to make fun of him.”
The bullying was so bad that Grayson was afraid to go back to school. “One kid told him to go home to kill himself,” she said. “Things I can’t believe 9-year-olds are saying to each other.”

Bruce is now homeschooling Grayson and looking to place him in a new school next fall. But first, she’s meeting with the school’s superintendent Thursday to talk about the incident.

“We want to talk to them about how the staff handled it and what’s going to happen in the future,” she said. “Maybe there’s other things we can do, more training, more assemblies. There’s gotta be a better way.”
Bruce has three more kids who will grow up in the same district. She wants things to be better for th
em, she said.
Jason Rhodes, the communications director for Buncombe County Schools, said the school “wants to resolve the issue” but said he couldn’t legally comment on a specific student’s situation.

Ai, ai, ai!
I know anti-bullying programs seem to ficus on certain kinds of victims but children are vicious and will bully anyone for any reason; being fat, short, too dumb, too smart or in this case being a brony.

I don’t know, to me the obvious answer seems to be for him to just get another backpack. :shrug: I can understand standing your ground if he’s being picked on for something he can’t change, but I think it’s a lot to put a small child through for something that can be easily changed. Yes bullying is wrong but no need to put the kid through that if it’s not necessary. :shrug: Now if the kid said he doesn’t want to change the backpack and insisted on standing his ground, that’s one thing, but if the kid wants another backpack then just change the darn backpack. :shrug:

I can’t for the life of me understand why any mother would buy her son such a backpack and actually encourage the kid to be a “brony!” The poor kid; obviously at 9 years old he doesn’t know any better. I was made fun of in grammar school once or twice for wearing a shirt from Mexico with a protruding gecko coming out of the pocket. The solution? I quit wearing it! Sadly common sense no longer prevails.

I think it is very sad that this child was bullied in this way. However, I have to agree with others that he should have simply quit using the backpack.

My thought is certainly for him to change backpacks, that’s what I would do if he somehow ended up with a backpack like that. If he liked it, I would just explain that other children do not always understand these things and so we could just keep the backpack he likes at home, and take a dumb backpack to school.

I would also teach him about the sin of human respect… but unfortunately not all children have Catholic parents to teach him that.

That being said, however, I think it is the school’s job to do something about the bullying instead of suggesting that the boy change his backpack! Is he just supposed to go along with the crowd forever to avoid being bullied? Like when they are passing around a joint, is he supposed to just go along? Well, maybe the school won’t care about that, but suppose it is a cigarette they are passing around!?!?!

What about the next child, who might be bullied for wearing a crucifix? Is the solution really to get the victim to fall into line, or is the solution to teach all the students not to bully people?

I’m getting the sense that the boy’s mom wouldn’t let him have a new backpack even if he asked her for one. I mean, let’s be honest here: the article states the boy didn’t even want to get out of the car because the other kids were too mean (aka, he was too scared to go to school). I can’t think of anyone, let alone a nine year old child, who would not be trying to get rid of the article of the bullies’ ridicule by that point. I can only assume he asked his mom for a new backpack and she forced him to “stand his ground.”

That’s just my gut feeling on the issue. Poor kid. She’s right about the bullying, but she’s wrong to force her child to endure a crusade like that. I speculate, of course, but I don’t think I’m off target here.

I would have told the boy long ago that a girl’s backpack was inappropriate for him and not allow him to have it. Parents dictate haircuts, and clothing to their kids all the time, but this misguided mom in the story wants to make a stand over a backpack? She probably encouraged him to like the dumb backpack in the first place. I suspect there is no father in the home. Two “moms” maybe, but no dad.

I saw the kid interviewed. He clearly wants the backpack. Now if I was his father I still wouldn’t buy him that backpack even if he wanted it. The fact that the kid has it, he clearly wants it, the Principal should make an effort to teach the other kids NOT to bully others just cuz they are different instead of making the kid get another backpack.

I’m not sure how I feel about this little boy having such a backpack, but this:

"One kid told him to go home to kill himself


I agree with you. But unfortunately, the principal and teachers can only do so much. The harsh truth of the matter is that these kids will continue to make fun of him whenever they can. Kids at that age can be utterly cruel. I remember it well. I was the victim of bullies all through grade school, but the worst of it was 4th through 8th grade.

The faculty can teach anti-bullying all they want, but unless they monitor everything that all the kids say and do, even outside classrooms, in the cafeteria, halls, playgrounds, etc., then there is no stopping it all.

Some of the meanest people on the planet are children, I should know. Spent my entire elementary/ middle school years being bullied for a “birth defect” on my face.

We can have and should have programs in schools to combat bullying. But lets be honest here. It WILL happen anyway.

How to handle it?

  1. Teach the child acceptable coping methods (depending on age and such)
  2. Remove object that is inciting the bullying (trust me though, other reasons will be found)
  3. Remove the child from the situation and either home-school or transfer schools. For the reason of bullying, both methods for the immediate may work, but this does not teach the child how to deal with these kinds of situations as he grows into adulthood (my humble opinion).

The good news is, he will outgrow his My Little Pony backpack, but the pain that this is causing him NOW my very well stay with him for many years to come.

We can not Educate the bullying Out of some children, but we can sure educate and support our own children in how to deal with such behavior.

I recently attended a conference for educators and it was stated that kids are bullied because they have something about them that makes them a target. He stated that the future of anti-bullying is to focus on removing the bullseye from the back of the victim.

I think this is what the school is attempting to do.

Exactly! Kids who are bullies will find some excuse to pick on other kids. The back pack isn’t the problem.

this is news?

As I was watching TV, they showed an interview with that mother ( VERY liberal) and she related the incident to blaming a woman wearing a short skirt for getting raped… let that sink in. God help us.

my feelings are hurt.

Couldn’t resist. :smiley:

I still don’t get some people’s logic. We all know, agree, and accept that parents choose their kids clothes, meals, haircuts, hygiene habits, and all sorts of behaviors. Yet if the boy decides to “choose” a feminine object, there arises a bizarre notion in some that he must be allowed this ridiculous self expression. Yet that same defender of the bizarre would not let a child go to school in pajamas just because the child wants to or thinks pajamas better self express his sleepiness.

Who’s to say what’s a “girl’s backpack” or a “feminine object”?

That’s a label put on it by the little boys.

If the backpack had pictures of figure skating, would it still be a girl’s backpack, because after all that’s a women’s sport and of course little boys should like manly sports?

And even so, does that justify the bullying?

I agree; I’d say the kid who would make a comment like that is more in need of correction than the kid wearing the backpack.

Well, of course we all agree that this sort of childhood bullying is not nearly as bad as rape, which is a crime and one of the worst acts imaginable.

But the principle is the same, that is, not trying to correct the perpetrator.

I cannot stand bullies, I bullied from first grade till tenth grade. Once you are labeled, unless you change schools and possibly whatever causes the bullying, you’re stuck. I remember I finally caved and got stylish clothes one year. I was then made fun of for *trying *to fit in.

That said, a Rainbow Dash backpack?! Seriously? The children should not bully, but the mother glued the target on him by allowing him to wear it.

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