School Condones Bullying, Blames Victim

After nine-year old Grayson Bruce was bullied for his “My Little Pony” backpack, school officials told him to leave the bag at home as it was causing a distraction. In a news report, Grayson’s mom reported that the school informed her son to leave the backpack at home because it was a “trigger for bullying.”  Another report indicates Grayson was told that “when you carry things like that these things happen.”

His mother Noreen added that it was “flawed logic” that her son was punished while the bullies were not.

Grayson told a television station in Asheville, NC that the bullies punched him, pushed him down, and called him horrible names.  He said he had been bullied because children told him his favorite television show is for girls, but that the bullying worsened after he brought in his new My Little Pony backpack.

In the news story, Grayson said My Little Pony “is promoting friendship.  There are no bad words.  There’s no violence. It’s hard to find that, even in cartoons now.”

Grayson is asking for social media support on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #StandWithGrayson.

Care2 also responded with a petition to support Grayson.

If a nine-year-old girl brought a “My Little Pony” backpack to school I doubt the school would tell her to leave it at home.  And, what’s with a school that chooses to punish the victim of bullying rather than the bullies?  That just isn’t acceptable.  Isn’t it time for schools to crack down on bullying, not be part of the bullying problem?  This nine-year-old boy has been hit, pushed, and called names, yet the bullies have not been punished.

Grayson deserves the right to bring his backpack to school.  And, he deserves the support of his school to stand up against the bullies who hurt him.  Telling the child that his backback is the trigger for his bullying is a bit like saying a short skirt is the trigger for rape.  The bullies are the trigger for bullying…plain and simple.  Backpacks dont cause bullying, bullies doAnd schools that condone bullying through inaction or punishment of the victims are also bullies.

Grayson’s persistence and strength has paid off.  According to the latest news report, Grayson can bring his backpack to school again. According to, the Buncombe Country School District issued the following statement:

“We sincerely regret that the issue of being told to leave the bookbag at home was perceived as blaming Grayson. While that was not the intent, the perception became reality. We support Grayson bringing the bookbag to school.”

The same story indicated that Grayson’s parents issued a follow-up statement as well:

“We are considering all options for getting Grayson back in school. We are pleased the school system is working closely with us. All of the options include Grayson taking his ‘My Little Pony’ bag to school.”

They expressed that they are considering switching their son to a different elementary school.

Show that you #StandWithGrayson on Twitter and Like his Facebook page, which as of the time of writing has 70,464 likes.

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june t.
reft h3 years ago

the bullies will grow up to be bullies. They just learned a valuable lesson here, that they can do what they want and get away with it, no repercussions for them. I would hate to be their co-worker in about 20 years time.

Anne Girolami
Anne Girolami3 years ago

As a society, we admire and reward the success of focused directness. The question is: What happens when acceptable “assertiveness” is shoved over… into unacceptable “aggressiveness” and bullying? Where is this line drawn, and who actually draws that line between the two?

Our children, our family, friends, and every person breathing on this earth are important, are worthy, are loved and cherished for who they are. We are important, worthy, and cherished for who we are—and not what we do, what we look like, how much money we have, etc.

If children grew up with this knowledge embedded in their hearts, I believe that there would be less potential victims of bullying; teen suicides and/or attempted suicides would be reduced; and so many other positive effects will follow them through adulthood.

If adults had this knowledge embedded in their hearts, I believe that there would be less abuse, fewer suicides, and less domestic violence and killings.

If all of us believed this in our own hearts, we wouldn’t sit back and allow others to be threatened, bullied, or abused. We would have the courage to step in and do something… and not stand by and let things happen, because we’re afraid of getting involved.

We need to do is share this simple message—over and over again—until this knowledge is so deeply embedded in everyone we come in contact with that no words, actions, or persons can take that away from them.

Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago


Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago

I agree with Amanda M.

Tanya W.
Tanya W3 years ago


John W.
.3 years ago

This is just shocking, the school's administration should hang their heads in shame!

Brenda P.
.3 years ago

Should be able to learn in school and not be bullied because of your book bag, your hair, clothes etc.

Katherine May Williams

This nonsense is part of why I think all children should be legally allowed to request/demand to be home-schooled. No child should have to put up with bullying. If this sort of thing were happening to an adult it would be a legal matter.. but because it's a child they seemingly have no rights. It doesn't seem to matter if a child is being harassed/ridiculed/beaten every day at school. If it were a job they would sue the crap out of their bullies (and the bullies would be fired.) But because it's school the children have to stay and put up with it? (Or even find themselves blamed for their ill-treatment at the hands of others?) It's outrageous. I remember it from my own school days. Thinking how appallingly unfair it was that I wasn't allowed to protect myself (by simply walking away) and how if it (similar bullying, intimidation, humiliation, violence) were happening to a grownup in a work environment it would be a matter for the police.

(Bullying makes me so angry.)

Danuta Watola
Danuta W3 years ago

Very interesting article

Amanda M.
Amanda M3 years ago

Nice to see the school turned around, but WHY aren't the little brats who beat up poor Grayson being punished as well?

Typical "zero tolerance" mentality-the bullies get off scot-free, while the victim gets punished.

Crazy, crazy STUPID world we live in!