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My Little Pony bag triggers school bullies

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS/WKRC) -- A mother and her 9-year-old son say school officials won't let him bring a "My Little Pony" backpack to school.

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, but it's become anything but friendship for 9-year-old Grayson Bruce.

"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 said.

Grayson picked a Rainbow Dash backpack out this year, which he says has intensified the attacks against him. "Most of the characters in the show are girls, and most of the people put it toward girls. Most of the toys are girlie, and surprisingly I found stuff like this."

The 9-year-old has developed a following on Facebook after a friend made a support page for him. Grayson stands by his favorite cartoon and the message he says it sends.

Noreen Bruce, Grayson's mom, "It's promoting friendship! There's no bad words, there's no violence... It's hard to find that, even in cartoons now."

But Noreen says 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," Noreen said. "It's flawed logic, it doesn't even make any sense."

Noreen wants punishment for the students involved. Buncombe County Schools declined an interview, but sent the following statement: "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.

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