UPDATE: Buncombe school to allow boy to bring ‘My Little Pony’ bag

| March 17, 2014 | Comments (21)

Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.03.12 AMUPDATE March 20: From the Support Grayson Facebook page:

Statement from Buncombe County Schools after the meeting: We have appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Bruce family and discuss the issues. 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.

We discussed a number of options to consider in moving forward for Grayson. All of the options discussed included a safety transition plan and an allowance for Grayson to bring the bookbag to school.

Every situation with young children is a teachable moment and we will use this example in our efforts to address a wider issue of bullying. The Bruce family has committed to working with us to improve and enhance our anti-bullying programs.

We ask for everyone’s patience and understanding as we continue to work collaboratively with the family toward a resolution that is best for Grayson and his classmates at Candler Elementary School.

UPDATE: March 19: Good Morning America reports on the Grayson Bruce story.

UPDATE March 18: Talk radio star Glenn Beck has issued his support of Grayson Bruce, the Buncombe County boy who says he was bullied at school because of his love of My Little Pony. Mashable posts the video, and notes:

There has been an outpouring of support from fans since the story broke on March 10, as well as from one of the show’s creators, Lauren Faust.

The school’s stance is attracting the attention of other big names in the media, like Glenn Beck. The conservative radio host said that Grayson has “the balls to be different,” and encouraged the boy to remain that way.


Here’s more of what Beck says in the video:

“I just want to send a signal to this nine-year-old kid who had the balls to be who he was. I just want to tell him, hey you know what, we as a company, we as a group of people, we appreciate the fact that you are different, we appreciate the fact that you have different tastes, we appreciate the fact that you have the courage to stand up and say yeah, my little pony. I like my little pony. And if they don’t like it, oh well. Don’t you dare, Grayson, learn the lesson from this society that you have to conform. Don’t you do it.”

ORIGINAL POST March 17: A story that WLOS reporter Sherrill Barber broke last week about a Buncombe County boy who says he was bullied because of his My Little Pony backpack is picking up online momentum. Boys that are fans of the old show are often referred to as “bronies.” (Note: Loyal Ashvegas reader Greta notes that usually the term “brony” is reserved for 20-something male fans of My Little Pony.)Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 10.07.27 AM

Supporters of 9-year-old Grayson Bruce have created a Facebook page in support of him, a page that has more than 13,000 fans. Those fans are launching an email campaign to get the attention of Ellen DeGeneres, who hosts her popular The Ellen Show. (There’s also a Twitter account in support of Grayson.)

Last week, standing outside Candler Elementary School, Barber reported Grayson’s allegations, and the fact that his mom wanted bullying students punished.

The boy and his mother say he’s getting shoved around because bullies think his pick of a favorite toy is for girls. It’s a decades-old kids show where pony characters emphasize the bonds of friendship. It’s become anything but friendship for 9-year-old Grayson Bruce. Grayson Bruce, My Little Pony fan, “they’re taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn’t happen.” Grayson picked a Rainbow Dash bag out this year, which he says has intensified the attacks against him.

Barber reported that the Buncombe County Schools system responded by asking Grayson to leave his My Little Pony bag at home. The school system, in a written statement, said it had taken:

“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 is using a different bag to carry his lunch to school, but he and his mom say they don’t believe it’s right to force him to leave the My Little Pony bag at home.

We’ll keep an eye on this one.

The Blaze.com has a version of the Grayson Bruce story here.

A second Facebook page in support of Grayson Bruce here. This page is calling for supporters to call and fax Grayson’s school next month on specific dates.

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Category: Asheville News

About Jason Sandford: Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville. View author profile.

Comments (21)

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  1. WNC says:

    Jason, why was this story removed from the posts on the front page? It was at the top and now it’s gone.
    That just seems odd.

    • WNC, I can stick posts to the front page, which is what I did with that story, because there were additional updates. I did that with the Downtown Market story, too, for example. If I don’t “stick” a post to the front, it moves down the page as new stories are added.

      • WNC says:

        I see – I thought it was a new story and not just an update. But now I see the 3/17 date on it. Thanks for the reply.

  2. Doug S. says:

    Good. Has the mother gotten enough screen time yet? Can we move on now?

  3. WNC says:

    This is intentionally being turned into a media circus. The GOP is pushing for privatization of schools and jump on any opportunity to make public schools look bad.

    As someone mentioned, it’s true the teacher and others at the school are not allowed to make statements on what happened. Statements have to come from the communications director and obviously it’s a bunch of fluff.

    Please listen to the mother and child – it’s obvious they are regurgitating talking points fed to them by a media professional. That is clear as day if you know anything about PR.

    I’m not saying the school wasn’t wrong, but know that you are hearing only half of the story.

  4. Sean says:

    The anguish was killing me. Now that we have a resolution in this matter, I can sleep soundly for the first time in days.

    Meanwhile, Russia has invaded and annexed a sovereign state.

  5. local teacher says:

    So I am a little confused. I do not work for Buncombe County but instead I work for the city. Having had experience with the county however and knowing many people that work in the district, something doesn’t add up. It seems completely out of character for the district to ignore a bullying situation like this or to blame a victim. even if their morals don’t guide them, their fear of lawsuits do. Despite the outcry, the district’s silence on the issue is expected as they are not allowed to talk about a specific student issue. I’m not saying that there isn’t a problem with the school response, but just that I am kind of grossed out by how quick people are to freak out, be it the regular joe’s or celebrity talk show hosts, without actually having the other side of the story. Until I hear more details, I am going to give the school the benefit of the doubt.

    • Media Watcher says:

      This teacher’s comment, and comments on the Citizen-Times website, suggest there are other factors in this story that no media outlet is reporting because there can be no disclosure by Buncombe County Schools. Citizen-Times is not going to get to the bottom of this. Could Ashvegas tell us more? Interview some other parents at the school?

  6. Johnny Whiplash says:

    The Blaze is a Cesspool. Beck is a crazy Sociopath. The fact he’s right on this doesn’t diminish the first two sentences.

  7. Martha says:

    Actually, the show itself is quite new and still making episodes. The toys are what’s decades old. And this is ridiculous. What kind of administrator punishes a victim? What a great message.

  8. chris says:

    Christ, I didn’t think I could find a worse comment section than Youtube’s comment section, until I saw The Blaze’s.

  9. Melissa says:

    Wow. Telling the kid to stop using that backpack so he doesn’t get beaten up is BULLSHIT.

  10. JT says:

    Fax the school?!?!

    I think a glitterbomb may be better suited for this cause.

  11. Ashley says:

    Punish the victim and let the bullies go on to bully other kids. This needs to stop.

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