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School bully concerns
Asheville, N.C. -- A mother and her 9-year-old son said school officials won't let him bring a "My Little Pony" bag to school.
The boy and his mother said he's getting shoved around because bullies think his pick of a favorite toy is for girls.
"My Little Pony" is a decades-old kids show that has pony characters emphasize the bonds of friendship. It's become anything but friendship for Grayson Bruce.
"They're taking it a little too far," the boy said. "Punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn't happen."
Grayson picked out a Rainbow Dash bag this year, which he said has intensified the attacks against him.
"Most of the characters in the show are girls, and most of the people put it toward girls," he said. "Most of the toys are girlie, and surprisingly I found stuff like this."
Grayson has developed a following on Facebook after a friend made a support page for him. He stands by his favorite cartoon and the message he said it sends.
"It's promoting friendship," Grayson's mom, Noreen, said. "There's no bad words, there's no violence. It's hard to find that, even in cartoons now."
But Noreen said Thursday the school asked him to leave the bag at home because it had become a distraction and was a "trigger for bullying."
"Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying, is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape," she said. "It's flawed logic. It doesn't make any sense."
Noreen saide wants punishment for the students involved.
Buncombe County Schools declined an interview, but released a statement that read: "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."
So Grayson has been using a different bag to carry his lunch to school, but he and his mom said they don't believe it's right to force him to leave the "My Little Pony" bag at home.