The 9-year-old boy who was told last week that he couldn’t bring his My Little Pony backpack to Candler Elementary School in Buncombe County, N.C. will get to attend school with his trusty bag in tow after all.
The boy’s mother, Noreen Bruce, met with school district officials on Thursday to hash out their disagreements, reports The Asheville Citizen-Times.
The dismayed mother had pulled her fifth-grade son, Grayson, out of school last week after school officials allegedly asserted that the My Little Pony bag and various other My Little Pony trappings had become a “trigger for bullying” and were too distracting to other students. (RELATED: Bullied boy forced to stop toting around My Little Pony merchandise at grade school)
According to both the elder Bruce and her son, other kids had been picking on the boy with flurries of insults and physical assaults because he is a boy and the Hasbro-generated franchise on which the backpack is based is geared toward girls.
The meeting between Bruce and school officials was “a real heart-to-heart talk,” according to the mother.
“We are considering all options for getting Grayson back in school,” she told the Citizen-Times after the meeting concluded. “All of the options include Grayson taking his My Little Pony bag to school.”
Plans also will likely include a parent advisory council on bullying, which Bruce will assist in organizing.
The story of Grayson Bruce’s My Little Pony backpack has gone viral worldwide. Virtually all coverage has been sympathetic to the boy’s plight.
“We appreciate all the support from the bottom of our hearts,” Noreen Bruce told the Citizen-Times. “That outpouring of love from everyone has been unbelievable and has given us the opportunity to shine a light on the different kinds of hurts kids experience at school.”
School officials also released a statement.
“We have appreciated the opportunity to meet with the Bruce family and discuss the issues,” the statement said. “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.”
In a local television news interview, Grayson Bruce had admitted that most of the characters on the My Little Pony television show are female. Nevertheless, he called the show “really not that girly.”
He has a My Little Pony backpack and at least two My Little Pony action figures. One appears to be Fluttershy, who represents the element of kindness. The other is definitely Rainbow Dash, who keeps the skies blue and generally maintains the weather in Ponyville.
The boy also apparently has a My Little Pony lunchbox.