Posted in: Education

My Little Pony Fan Bullied, Told To Leave Lunch Bag At Home

child bullied

Fourth-grader Grayson Bruce has been the victim of bullying at Buncombe County Schools because of his My Little Pony lunch bag. The school’s immediate solution? Ask Grayson to leave the bag at home.

9-year-old Grayson and his mother, Noreen Bruce, are disappointed by the NC school’s decision. Ms. Bruce points out 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.”

School officials argued in a statement to abc13 that their request is part of “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.” Despite the school’s insistence that they take bullying seriously, no move has yet been made to punish or address the bullies themselves.

Grayson Bruce says he understands why My Little Pony makes him a target for bullies. “Most of the characters in the show are girls, and most of the people put it toward girls, most of the toys are girlie.” Bruce adds that, “They’re taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn’t happen,” the 9-year-old explained.

This news comes after bullying drove an 11 year old boy to attempt suicide by hanging himself from his bedpost in January, also over his My Little Pony fandom.

This week, Rueters reported on a studying tying bullying to suicidal thoughts. Rueters reports that children who are bullied are twice as likely to attempt suicide as children who are not bullied. Mitch Van Geel, the study’s lead author from the Institute of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, explains that “There are now meta-analyses that demonstrate that bullying is related to depression, psychosomatic problems and even suicide attempts, and thus we should conclude that bullying is definitely not harmless.” Van Geel concludes that “efforts should continue to reduce bullying among children and adolescents, and to help those adolescents and children involved in bullying.”

The Buncombe County School Board provides its students with a thorough definition of bullying in its policies, yet makes little in the way of promises of decisive action: “If appropriate, the person making the complaint shall be notified of the results of the investigation and what, if any, disciplinary action the school system shall take against the individual accused of bullying, harassment, hazing or discrimination.”

Interested in preventing bullying and the psychological damage it causes? Learn how you can help by visiting Stomp Out Bullying, the nation’s leading bullying and cyberbullying prevention organization for kids and teens.

Meanwhile, Grayson leaves his My Little Pony lunch bag at home and waits to find out what “steps” his school might take against bullying.

photo credit: ABC News

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Comments

33 Responses to “My Little Pony Fan Bullied, Told To Leave Lunch Bag At Home”

  1. Lisa Lovelace

    typical blame the victim….im sure in my heart nothing will be done to the kids who bullied this boy. Trigger for bullying…what bullshit…

  2. Angela LeClair

    Every child has a right to their own likes/dislikes, why should he b penalized because others can't behave, be nice, and be respective!! I feel for him :(

  3. Andrea Mitchell

    That's b.s. if the kid wants to like the ponies he should be allowed to. The school should address the bullies not the victim. The school and the bullies are doing psychological damage to the child. The school should be protecting the child instead of chastising him for liking what he does. Shame on them.

  4. Lynn Sherrard Steigerwalt

    someone needs to address the parents of these bullies and most of them are girls – it's that pack mentality – alone they probably wouldn't say a word……shame on the school……

  5. Brenda Burd

    this bullying crap is being carried way to far. parents should teach their kids not to pick on others and kids should also be taught to defend themselves!!

  6. Ann Trede Minadeo

    The "correct" thing to say is 9 year old Greyson should have any lunchbox he wants. Having said that I doubt however the school can prevent him from being bullied on his way to and from school.

  7. Pam Christensen Russell

    The bullies should be talked to along with their parents. If the 9 yr old knows this lunch bag is a trigger why not just leave it at home. Why go through this every day? I can see if the kids are bulling him over something he can't change but something as simple as leaving his lunch bag at home would make things a lot better for the kid.

  8. Pam Christensen Russell

    I agree that the kid should take what ever he wants to put his lunch in but as far as the other kids making fun of him good luck with that. Some kids are just mean. If this kid is strong and can take it good but if not I say leave the lunch bag at home avoid the whole mess

  9. Tonya Zaengle

    I was bullied in school, during lunch, by a girl in my friend group. For a month I said nothing. Then once I week I went down to the vice principals office and described the bullying. We had 3 separate lunch commons in junior high, designated by last name. At first they told her she had to stay in her own commons. Eventually she started returning, continuing the bullying. Again, weekly trips to the vice principals office began. They told me there was nothing they could do, she wasn't being overtly physical. I guess mental abuse doesn't count?? In any event this went on for a few more months until I snapped and punched the girl, once, giving her a shiner. They suspended me, a good student with no history of violent behavior or infractions other than a few detentions for being late. They suspended me for standing up for myself, saying they have a zero tolerance policy for violence. Ok, I understand that, but what about zero tolerance for bullying? She was not punished at all for her actions. But, she stayed very far away from me after that.

  10. Carl Rucki

    theres the page for you to like if you want to show your support, and i dont know if you saw it but i posted a video yesterday of glenn beck talking about this.

  11. Tonya Zaengle

    The school systems need to get their heads out of the sand and take appropriate action. Telling him to leave the lunch box at home is ridiculous. Punish the bullies!! Allow kids to stand up for themselves! Maybe then we won't have children shooting up our schools!

  12. Penny Zimmerman Howington

    Parents who don't try to teach their kids proper gender behavior are just setting their kids up for this kind of stuff. YES, I know the comments this will get, but the truth usually hurts.

  13. Debi Rellama

    what is so different about him carrying a bag from the show he loves and me using a star wars bag when i was his age? parents need to teach their kids tolerance. my son is also 9 and loves MLP as well. he has a rainbow dash doll he takes with him to school everyday. no different from the kid who brings his iron man toy. he is not ashamed to proclaim his love for the show and the characters. he is not picked on because of this, though his peers may think him odd, but don't attack him for what he likes.

  14. MaryBeth McCall

    its ashame how things have come .im sure if he had some kind of evil character on it then he would have been in trouble for that !! sad !!

  15. Kelly Millar-Wellman

    I do not agree with bullying whatsoever at all, but unfortuantely it does happen, all too often! Tell me this mom didn't see it coming by letting him take this bag to school?! There is no way I would let my son do it! I would never put him in a situation where he is pretty much, 100% going to get picked on! Kids are jerks, and there is hardly any protection from bullying as it is. :(

  16. Michael Church

    If the parents will show up at school and sit in the principals office everyday something will be done problem is most if the time the bullies parents are rich and their parents donate money and time to the school who doesnt want to displease them. Want to stop bullying go back to paddling itll stop then.

  17. Rhonda Jeffery Thorn

    I would say your being suspended was worth the cure. I do believe the bully should have been suspended before you reached your limit. Sorry you were punished.

  18. Leslie Williams

    its not about the victim who is innocent its about stopping the bullying .. so they know he is being bullied so each and every time they do this they should be suspended after three suspensions the bullies involved get expelled and prosecuted .. they have a zero tolerance for bullying then follow it… the victim shouldnt have to alter his movements or routine if he hasnt done anything wrong … dont persecute the victim PERSECUTE the offenders …. i say sue the bullies parents and the parents will stop the bullies when it hits their pockets …

  19. Tonya Zaengle

    Yes it was. I am not sorry I was punished, I am sorry she was not.

  20. Amanda Holley

    Yeah at the same time.. this "Protect Every Child" is a load of crap the school systems are over-loaded with kids, they are under-funded, over-budgeted, and have much other pressing issues to deal with than a kid bronie. This is being blown out of proportion because instead of his mom directly dealing with the other kid's parents she called a local news station.

    The school system had a choice to make when they asked him to leave the bag at home rather than escalate the problem, which if his mom had any common sense she would say to her over-sensitive son… "If you like it don't let anyone else change your mind." Kids are cruel, the world is cruel. If you shelter one boy you have to shelter them all and let's just face it… a kid can be picked on because they are poor, or a high schooler beat up because they are gay, someone trips a fat kid because they don't fit social media's standards of beautiful.. When you react to bullies, you fuel the fire. And this is a bag… he can leave it at home… some kids have physical handicaps and can't help that other kids pick on them.. it doesn't get better as people get older it just becomes more violent in nature.

    So this kid better get a back-bone now because when he's 40 and living alone with a shelf full of My Little Ponies… what's said about that is far worse than what he's dealing with now. You can think I'm cruel but I've dealt with the bullies, I've faced harsh reality, and even if the kids are punished the next chance they get they will do it in private and possibly the end result won't be some kid's feelings are hurt. So conclusion, should bullying just be accepted? No… Should the school system try to deter and help resolve the issue? Yes, but with positive re-enforcement and understanding to the children involved but in the end it's his parents and the bullies parents to do the right thing and resolve this matter outside of school.

    If you want to allow the kids to have individuality at school and have the uniform and dress code not be changed so that everyone wears standard issued two tone outfits and cannot bring anything with characters or logos on them just keep blowing up instances like these and forcing the school boards and districts to take that decision out of your hands(the parents). Because that's the direction social media is taking this… you want your kid to have the best education possible and to learn social interaction but you don't want higher taxes. You get what you pay for.

  21. Joan Wilcox

    Pam Christensen Russell I totally disagree with you about leaving the lunch box home I was bullied as a child the entire time I was in school from 1st grade through 12 grade and it was not fun, I did not have many friends and every time I made a new friend the bullies made them uncomfortable being my friend. My crime was my father was a truck driver. Bullies need to be addressed, I would much rather have a son like My Little Ponies than some of the other junk that is out there. Also, bullies are inferior and need to put people down and be mean to feel like they are someone themselves. As for me I became a truck driver. The girls that bullied me in school still try it when we have our high school reunions but they do not matter anymore, and I have been out of school for 37 years. If a bully is not stopped when they are young they will continue being a bully the rest of their lives.

  22. Joan Wilcox

    Pam Christensen Russell I totally disagree with you about leaving the lunch box home I was bullied as a child the entire time I was in school from 1st grade through 12 grade and it was not fun, I did not have many friends and every time I made a new friend the bullies made them uncomfortable being my friend. My crime was my father was a truck driver. Bullies need to be addressed, I would much rather have a son like My Little Ponies than some of the other junk that is out there. Also, bullies are inferior and need to put people down and be mean to feel like they are someone themselves. As for me I became a truck driver. The girls that bullied me in school still try it when we have our high school reunions but they do not matter anymore, and I have been out of school for 37 years. If a bully is not stopped when they are young they will continue being a bully the rest of their lives.

  23. Pam Christensen Russell

    Joan Wilcox Wow sorry for being bullied that's just so wrong and hurts so bad. I do think the bullies should be confronted by the school and something done but you know how that goes even if they are talked to about it bullies have a way of getting back. I think the whole thing is so wrong and now with phones and face book kids have more ways to bully

  24. Carrie F Verdone

    Hummm free country, bet they all go to church on Sunday and don't even have a clue, but then again who am I to judge, not my job…I leave that to GOD, its a shame parents are so clueless and unfortunately, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

  25. Chuck W. Smith

    I'll bet if the young man was gay and was being bullied for that reason, something would be done in a hurry. I would love to see the reaction if they told a gay person that being different was a trigger so they need to not act different. This school should be busted with a huge lawsuit.

  26. Alanna Geer

    Good for you, 99% of the time the bullies are really the little shits that are insecure about themselves and feel the need to bring others down with them… If someone bullied my son I hope he would stand up for himself and resolves it if no one else can be bothered to do so.

  27. Tonya Zaengle

    Exactly! My mother was super supportive of me, she stood up for me when we had the meeting about the suspension. When she saw the girl who bullied me waiting outside the office she whispered to me; she got off easy. She was lucky it wasn't me she was bullying! My mom rocks!

  28. Tija Spitsberg

    Bullying is bad no matter who it is done to. What do you gain by claiming that gay kids are more protected from it than others? We should protect all children for being bullied; kids are bullied or all sorts of reasons, including because of their first or last names.We need to focus on getting rid of bullying, period.

  29. Chuck W. Smith

    Tija Spitsberg I was not saying this. I was pointing out that this school administration acted in a totally inappropriate manner by asking the young man to change his behavior. I used the example of a gay child because in this environment, it evokes the most visceral response in people and that I believe the response would have been different in that situation. This, to me is an example of a school administration that is scared to do what is right and not just when it is the flavor of the moment. I could have used the example of a child wearing thick glasses.I am pointing out that the school would take different action if it were a case that was popular and defended by a very vocal part of todays society(deservedly so).If I came across as being against any act of bullying as being more or less heinous, I am sorry. That was not my intention. I just think, in all cases, an effective administration should confront the abuser and require a change in their actions. As long as the abuse d's behavior is not in violation of school policy, they should not be asked, by the school, to change that behavior.

  30. Tija Spitsberg

    Many schools see the solution to bullying as solved by the person being bullying being asked to change his or her behavior. "Ask the person to stop," walk away" "ignore," and the final solution is to then tell a teacher. I agree with you , but I don't agree that most schools take bullying against gay kids seriously; I don't know if the assumption here is that this is about being gay, or just feminine in his behavior, but I know your heart is in the right place, Chuck.