Boy Told to Nix His 'My Little Pony' Backpack at School; Internet Responds in Support
byKaitlin StanfordMar 18, 2014
Like most kids, 9-year-old Grayson Bruce has a favorite show he just can't get enough of. He tunes in every chance he has, owns some of the toys ... he even has a backpack with one of the main characters on the back. Typical kid stuff, right?
Here's the problem: Grayson's favorite show isn't SpongeBob SquarePants or Pokémon; it's My Little Pony. And that fact has landed him in the middle of some pretty awful school bullying from some of the other boys. He's been called names, pushed around and generally ostracized—all for liking a "girly" show and donning a backpack to school that isn't considered cool.
The recent bullying became so incessant that it forced school administrators to step in. But instead of trying to talk to the kids who were bullying Grayson, they took another route: They asked him to leave his backpack at home. According to WLOS-TV, the local news station near Grayson's North Carolina home, the backpack was deemed a "trigger for bullying," and its absence would largely solve the issue altogether. The only thing is ... Grayson doesn't want to leave his backpack at home. And as his mom, Noreen Bruce, argues—why should he? She's just happy his favorite show is one that promotes friendship over violence.
This story could have been one that ended right there, with Grayson giving up on the whole matter. But in the days since Grayson was told to leave his backpack at home, some amazing things have happened. For one, his (awesome) friend started a Facebook support page for him (which has since grown to more than 10,000 likes), and a Change.org petition was started for his cause (earning hundreds of signatures so far—and counting).
Supportive strangers have also sent him several video messages that are nothing short of amazing. Here's one from United States Naval Officer Dorr, who tells Grayson to keep his chin up and stay strong:
If you'd like to show Grayson your support, sign his petition here.