A nine-year-old boy has been forbidden by his school from carrying his My Little Pony backpack. The school claims carrying the pack makes him a target for bullies. Sure, that makes sense. Don’t punish the students who are doing the bullying – instead forbid the victim from bringing the backpack that’s “causing kids to be bullies.” Well, this is a new low; victim-blaming a nine-year-old My Little Pony lover.
The boy says he’s been shoved around by kids who think My Little Pony is for girls: “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 Bruce said. He still wants to carry the pack. I think he’s an amazingly smart little boy who obviously realizes his bullies are in the wrong. If I was his mom, I would be really proud of him – and totally support him carrying the bag. As far as I’m concerned, this choice is between the boy and his parents – not the school.
His mom, Doreen Bruce, said that last week the school asked him to leave the bag at home because it had become a distraction and was a “trigger for bullying.” Her reaction?
“Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying, is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. It’s flawed logic, it doesn’t make any sense,” she said.
It’s a strange parallel – but I agree. This backpack isn’t causing him to be bullied; kids who are able to push other kids around without being punished is. Take the focus off this bag and put it where it belongs – on teaching kids that it’s not okay to push kids around who have interests you don’t agree with.
I think the mom is right – if my child felt strongly about carrying the backpack after the kind of backlash he’d already received, I would support him. In my opinion, he’s a pretty impressive nine-year-old.