A nine year old boy in North Carolina with a love of My Little Ponies was asked by his school recently not to bring his Rainbow Dash backpack with him to school. The reason? The bag was a trigger for bullying.
At least that was the explanation the school gave to the student and his mother.
Grayson – like a lot of guys – loves the show and doesn’t care that most people probably think it’s “girly.” He doesn’t care because at nine years old he already knows that the lessons the show teaches transcend age or gender. Much like Katie Goldman – a young girl with a love for Star Wars – did four years ago, when it came time to pick out school supplies Grayson went for his the ample amount of merchandise readily available for his favorite show. And just like Katie – who was bullied for liking Star Wars (which was ‘only for boys’) – Grayson found himself being bulled for liking “a girl’s show.”
Telling Grayson he couldn’t bring his My Little Pony bag to lunch was, according to the school, their way of taking an “immediate action” to address a problem that has become a “distraction in the classroom.” Every school has the right to ban certain things that become a distraction. But telling a little boy he can’t bring a bag to school because he is the victim of bullying? That is not okay and that is not the appropriate response to the situation.
I cannot believe that an elementary school would stoop to this level.
Kids should be learning to accept one another and they should be learning that people are different. They should be learning that people can like different things, they can have different interests. But instead of punishing the students for bullying the school decided to punish Grayson for being different. Instead of taking action and protecting him, they are blaming him for his own bullying. The school would rather punish Grayson for liking My Little Ponies than enforce their own ‘zero tolerance’ policy on bullying. Punishing Grayson is easier. Making him give up the things he loves is easier than taking the time to start a dialogue with the other students or to start helping them grow as individuals by making them really face the consequences of their actions. It’s a disgusting but all too common response by schools.
I’m glad to see that neither Grayson or his mother is standing for this. I’m also glad to see just how well spoken and confident Grayson is even at nine years old. If you didn’t watch the video above you should because this kid really is great. He is the perfect example of a kid who seems to know who he is, what he likes, and who knows that you don’t just give up on any of that because other people try to put you down. You go, Grayson!
You can join Grayson’s other supporters on his Facebook page, Support for Grayson. My Little Pony fans from all over the world are already showing their support and even Glenn Beck’s desks and recording studio sported My Little Pony stuffed animals during a recent broadcast in support of Grayson. Too often kids have to think they are standing alone. Let’s show Grayson Bruce that we’ve all got his back.