9 yr old boy wins right to bring My Little Pony book bag to school

posted at 4:01 pm on March 22, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Even in a business where we tend to dive off the deep end of silliness from time to time, this one may stretch the definition of Breaking News just a tad. Dr. James Joyner highlights a story out of North Carolina (all of you who had already guessed “Florida” lose this time) regarding an elementary school boy, Grayson Bruce by name, who was kept out of school for bringing a book bag emblazoned with the popular children’s series, My Little Pony. But after national attention was drawn to the situation, the school has relented and will allow Grayson to return, book bag and all.

Grayson Bruce’s My Little Pony backpack will return, and with it may come new initiatives to prevent bullying in local schools.

Buncombe County Schools administrators met Thursday with the mother of Grayson Bruce, the 9-year-old boy who was propelled into the national spotlight this week after saying he was prevented from carrying his “My Little Pony” backpack to school because administrators told him it “triggered bullying.”…

Buncombe County Schools administrators released a joint statement Thursday, saying they would work with Bruce to make “a safety transition plan and an allowance for Grayson to bring the bookbag to school.”

“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.” the statement said.

It turns out that the school didn’t have a ban on all things My Little Pony related, (like they do with toy guns) nor were they conducting some sort of War on Bronies. In this case, they apparently felt that a boy with such a book bag was likely to get the snot beaten out of him by other young boys and they were going to protect him by keeping him and his bag out of school. Is that a good policy? Joyner’s take:

Yes, it’s wrong to bully a little boy for wearing a backpack marketed to little girls. (My five-year-old daughter loves My Little Pony, especially Rainbow Dash.) And, yes, the ban was effectively blaming the victim. But the fact of the matter is that kids of that age can be vicious, bullying and mob behavior here was quite predictable, and it’s impossible for teachers to be everywhere at once. It was just easier to tell Grayson to leave the backpack at home, removing the immediate catalyst.

Schools do this sort of thing all the time and have forever. For decades now, schools have banned clothing with potentially inflammatory messages or even banned wearing hats and other clothing in colors locally associated with various street gangs. The fact that people ought not react viciously to other people’s free expression is outweighed, especially with children, by the probability that they will.

It’s hard to tell from the coverage precisely what the parents were thinking when they agreed to send Grayson off to class with that bag. I suppose it’s possible that they felt they were striking a blow for gender neutrality. (Unisex bathrooms in public school, anyone?) Or maybe they just weren’t paying attention and didn’t notice that their boy was setting himself up as a target. A far less likely scenario is that the parents were taking a page out of Johnny Cash’s book, based on his song, A Boy Named Sue.

Father: You’re letting him go to school with THAT book bag?

Mother: Well, you said he should learn to fight. I reckon that’ll do it.

Anyone who went to public school back in the day and dealt with the various groups of boys there knows how that story ends. A less gentle approach to the question might find that it would turn out to be a teachable moment for the kid no matter how it ended. But I suppose I agree with Joyner, at least to a point. If the parents can’t recognize an invitation to a whooping when they see one, maybe it wasn’t so out of line for the school to step in before Grayson wound up black and blue on the playground. Of course, given the litigious nature of our society, the school was going to wind up losing on this one anyway. And now that the parents have turned their son’s situation into a national news story, he’s probably toast out near the swing sets when he goes back anyway.

This wasn’t a case for new government action, changes in rules or forcing a bend in the social order. This was a situation which could have been avoided with a little common sense, but I’m afraid that ship has already sailed.


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No boy/man should be bullied over his legitimately owned private property. If the kid gets physically attacked over his bookbag, then a good teacher would take attacker(s) aside and teach them about letting others be.
NorthernCross on March 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Yeah, and no child should be beaten because Daddy had too much to drink, no woman should be date-raped because she left her beverage unattended, an no one should be robbed because they didn’t lock their doors. But guess what: it happens anyway.

What color are the moons on your home planet?

Maddie on March 22, 2014 at 11:47 PM

Rights come with responsibilities. The kid has the *right* to carry the bookbag. He has the *responsibility* to minimize the workload on the teachers by not constantly putting himself into situations where he needs their intervention.

I’m not saying he needs to give up the bookbag. I’m saying he’s going to have to apply some cleverness.

Also …

WRT my little pony, before making up your mind about the show, I would suggest watching at least one episode, maybe two. I would suggest “MMMystery on the Friendship Express”, which is a parody send-up of Murder on the Orient Express. It features murder mystery, ninjas, robbers, detectives, and is other ways quite cool in ways that little boys can appreciate, even if the artwork is cutesy. In someways the cuteness is a parody of itself.

MLP has an all-ages demographic appeal beyond it’s target demographic, and there is a reason for this.

Thanks for being one of the sensible ones on this matter.

that guy on March 22, 2014 at 11:54 PM

I refuse to believe that every parent in America that sends their kids to school instead of homeschooling them doesn’t want to spend time with their kid and hates being around them. In fact, I know it is wrong. I have myriad examples of that being false.

cptacek on March 22, 2014 at 11:40 PM

:Facepalm: You’re either struggling with your reading comprehension or a disingenuous individual who argues strawmen of your own creation. Try again; from my post which you were commenting upon:

That includes many, many, many, MANY kids whose parent(s) do not give a flying rip about their child’s behavior, dress, academic progress, or the like and simply see the public system as a laundromat to clean and press their incorrigible child and correct for the lousy parenting their provide outside of school while providing a taxpayer subsidized babysitting service (and God forbid you close school for inclement weather. After all, THOSE PARENTS DON’T WANT TO BE WITH THEIR KIDS during the day!).

Notice the antecedent to “those parents” who don’t want to be with their kids during the day? Notice that it is not, as you inaccurately stated, “every parent in America”? Notice how wrong you are?

Far too many parents send their kids to the public schools so that they can be rid of them for the day, force someone else to clean up the mess they’ve made of the kid, and leave the tough work of parenting to others. That’s a sad fact. #dealwithit.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:03 AM

On the positive side, people who don’t want to influence their own kids and instead send them to institutions run by others to be reared and educated are in luck. That’s exactly what those institutions were originally created for; to remove parental influence and impose the values of the state. See Horace Mann and John Dewey for more information regarding whose values are being propagated through the state. Hint: It’s not your values, parents. It’s the state’s values.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:06 AM

Kids will be kids, but the larger issue here (overlooked by Jazz) is the inevitable outcome of anti-bullying programs: Blame the victim.

Instead of equipping children with the tools they need to deal with bullies themselves, educators will take what they see as the path of least resistance and shame bullied children into making themselves as small as possible to avoid bullying. They don’t want to teach children to stand up for themselves, and they don’t want to stand up to bullies themselves either.

NotCoach on March 23, 2014 at 12:10 AM

You all should look up videos about this on YouTube. I just watched a few.

The kid is incredibly smart and articulate, and his parents seem perfectly normal. The kid was also on Glenn Beck with his mom. Videos posted online.

The school was totally in the wrong,

Instead of equipping children with the tools they need to deal with bullies themselves, educators will take what they see as the path of least resistance and shame bullied children into making themselves as small as possible to avoid bullying. They don’t want to teach children to stand up for themselves, and they don’t want to stand up to bullies themselves either.
NotCoach on March 23, 2014 at 12:10 AM

What sorts of tools are you talking about? The student should be able to go to a school employee for help; at some point it becomes too much and he can’t handle it all himself.

The teachers should have stopped any bullying. Children deserve to have a peaceful, welcoming experience at school. They shouldn’t have to fear going into class.

I am so disgusted about this.

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 12:23 AM

I get so angry watching this:
http://youtu.be/YfbayU6E-Js

It’s from the Glenn Beck show. You can just feel the stress the kid is under, but he holds up and is strong and shows a lot of grace.

Anyone who would want to mock and attack this kid is lower than crap on the bottom of my shoe!

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Actually, the “inevitable outcome of anti-bullying programs” is an increase in bullying, not in blaming the victim.

Additionally, I’d love for you to forward your thoughts on the courage of educators to the families of teachers who have stood between their students and shooters, losing their lives in the process.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:26 AM

The bullies should be required to carry a My Little Pony bag for one full school year.

Ronnie on March 23, 2014 at 12:31 AM

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:03 AM

Sorry I didn’t take the time to parse your disturbed rant for the small qualifiers you used. Wait. No I’m not.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:32 AM

Actually, the “inevitable outcome of anti-bullying programs” is an increase in bullying, not in blaming the victim.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Just read the study you linked to. Says the jury is still out on that question. Says reports have been mixed.

What I don’t get is what the hell are doing while this is happening. Do they not see it? If I were a teacher and saw this happening, I sure as hell would put a stop to it. And I would make damn clear from the beginning that nothing of the sort would be tolerated ever.

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 12:33 AM

What the hell are the teachers doing while this is happening, I mean.

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 12:34 AM

Sorry, I didn’t want to let what you actually said get in the way of my strawman and displaying my lack of basic literacy.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:32 AM

Fixed it for you!

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:35 AM

Just read the study you linked to. Says the jury is still out on that question. Says reports have been mixed.

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 12:33 AM

I posted that rather lengthy study seven minutes prior to your posting to having read it. I’m not convinced you read enough of it, due to the time constraints. Of course, you’re sure to have done a better job than a certain other poster who is currently cooking s’mores over a campfire created out of his/her strawman! ;)

A few key quotes:

Surprisingly, bullying prevention had a negative effect on peer victimization. Contrary to our hypothesis, students attending schools with bullying prevention programs were more likely to have experienced peer victimization, compared to those attending schools without bullying prevention programs. It is possible that bullies have learned a variety of antibullying techniques but chose not to practice what they have learned from the program. Sometimes, bullies maintain their dominant social status among peers in school. As a result, the preventive strategies may become ineffective.

The other preventive measure, the Safe Passage program, had no effect on the likelihood of peer victimization.

Anti-bullying programs don’t help.

And most interestingly:

Our prediction that students in schools with more security measures would be less likely to be victimized was not supported by the study findings.

No amount of “security” can make a school, and its students, perfectly secure (from bullying, or a crazed shooter, or whatever other range of horrors can occur anywhere on the planet). Don’t count on school personnel being bodyguards/shields to intercept every schoolyard sling and arrow.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:42 AM

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:35 AM

Kindly don’t put words in my mouth.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:42 AM

Kindly don’t put words in my mouth.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:42 AM

Kindly practice what you preach, and don’t begin what I am more than willing to finish. Hypocrite.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:44 AM

*Sigh* I didn’t “quote” you and write something different than what you wrote and assign your name to it.

I skimmed your comment. You obviously believe that you are superior to all the other non enlightened parents out there that utilize public schools, private schools, charter schools or any other arrangement to teach their children and seem to think that obviously if only we wouldn’t be so damn selfish we could just halve (or more) our income and teach our children ourselves. What I believed you were implying isn’t out of the range of possibility due to the tone and hyper punctuation, and to be honest, I didn’t want to read your screed that closely. Which is why I questioned it to begin with.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:50 AM

Actually, the “inevitable outcome of anti-bullying programs” is an increase in bullying, not in blaming the victim.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 12:26 AM

That goes without saying. Turning victims into meek little mouses will do that.

Additionally, I’d love for you to forward your thoughts on the courage of educators to the families of teachers who have stood between their students and shooters, losing their lives in the process.

Our public education system is a cesspool of idiots and cowards. Exceptions to the rule are just that, exceptions.

NotCoach on March 23, 2014 at 12:51 AM

Kids will be kids, but the larger issue here…
NotCoach on March 23, 2014 at 12:10 AM

No, immature creeps will be immature creeps. Why excuse the behavior by saying it’s “just something kids do”? The vast majority of kids, including those at this school in question, I bet, would never think of harassing another student. I wouldn’t be surprised if those who saw the bullying felt uncomfortable about it and knew it was wrong, but didn’t feel like they were in any position to do anything about it, so they stayed out of it.

In my own experience, I have noticed that the smarter students in the “advanced” or “gifted” classes tend to be a lot more mature and better behaved.

My guess is this kid, who appears smart, has to take classes with students who are less mature and less intelligent.

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 1:00 AM

No, immature creeps will be immature creeps.

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 1:00 AM

As I said, kids will be kids.

NotCoach on March 23, 2014 at 1:03 AM

*Sigh* I didn’t “quote” you and write something different than what you wrote and assign your name to it.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:50 AM

No, you simply, and completely, mischaracterized what I said and assigned my name to it. And as you said yourself, “Kindly don’t put words in my mouth.” If it’s a value you hold, don’t betray it prior to criticizing others for doing so. That’s hypocritical.

I skimmed your comment.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:50 AM

Which makes what you have to say unworthy of having been said, even as you CONTINUE to mischaracterize my points.

If you foist your children off on others to rear and educate, it is indeed selfish of you to do so. You are intentionally diluting your parental impact. Perhaps you consider that a good thing. Who knows. My wife and I have sacrificed the past decade (and will do so with the upcoming one) of her salary, a highly educated and employable individual with a master’s degree, so that we can assume the God-given responsibility to educate our own kids, who btw are outperforming their peers on standardized tests by years AND spend their time in pursuits with more noble intentions that mocking others, or being mocked by others, for their clothing or accessories (a public school favorite among the kids, to mock those who are different). Try it. You might just like it!

Our public education system is a cesspool of idiots and cowards. Exceptions to the rule are just that, exceptions.

NotCoach on March 23, 2014 at 12:51 AM

I wouldn’t go that far, but I don’t believe parents should turn their kids over to the state and expect the state to stand in for their values. That’s just foolishness. Public education in American began with the explicit intention of removing parental influence from children and to replace it with the values of the state. For right or wrong, that’s the history of ‘the common school’ in America.

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 1:05 AM

I do not believe that you are teaching them to not mock others. Read what you are writing to me.

Good night. I am no longer responding to your idiocy.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 1:07 AM

I do not believe that you are teaching them to not mock others. Read what you are writing to me.

Good night. I am no longer responding to your idiocy.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 1:07 AM

Standing up for my views, and debunking your lying misrepresentation of them, is not mocking. You’ve made it very clear you didn’t even READ the post you chose to respond to, you merely, in your own words, “skimmed.” I never said that, and I quote you, “every parent in America that sends their kids to school instead of homeschooling them doesn’t want to spend time with their kid and hates being around them.” I said that, and I quote, “MANY kids whose parent(s) do not give a flying rip about their child’s behavior…THOSE PARENTS DON’T WANT TO BE WITH THEIR KIDS during the day!.”

If you want to criticize someone’s views, try actually interacting with their ideas, not imagined ideas of your own creation (i.e. a strawman) which you set up in their place in order to carry on a falsified argument. To top it off, you had the gall to criticize me for putting words in your mouth when you are the one who initiated that with me! :facepalm:

Thanks, and good night!

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 1:17 AM


libs are sometimes pretty mindboggling..

likely if he had shown up in a skirt the school would have offered him a “gender neutral” restroom .

but the idea that a boy would like the color pink or something like this and not being gay , most likely is something that the racist left lunatics cannot understand.

it is almost as when you have a conservative woman or conservative black. Those leftist lunatics really screw up if they cannot put a label on you

huntingmoose on March 23, 2014 at 1:45 AM

Part of being free is being allowed to wear the message of your choice.

This was no different than those kids sent home for wearing the Flag on their shirts.

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2014 at 2:09 AM

As I said, kids will be kids.

NotCoach on March 23, 2014 at 1:03 AM

But they can be taught!

unclesmrgol on March 23, 2014 at 2:10 AM

No boy/man should be bullied over his legitimately owned private property. If the kid gets physically attacked over his bookbag, then a good teacher would take attacker(s) aside and teach them about letting others be.
NorthernCross on March 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Sometimes dealing with people we worry about reality and the likely to happen instead of the should be. This includes children.

anuts on March 23, 2014 at 2:47 AM

Part of being free is being allowed to wear the message of your choice.
This was no different than those kids sent home for wearing the Flag on their shirts.
unclesmrgol on March 23, 2014 at 2:09 AM

Children are not “free” relatively speaking and especially in a school setting. Wisdom comes with age and that’s generally why adults step in with corrective and preventative actions. Including disruptive behavior and behavior that’s liable to cause the child harm.

It’s kind of the responsible thing to do actually.

anuts on March 23, 2014 at 2:52 AM

By the way, the photo attached to this thread is NOT THE BAG that this kid had, apparently.

The bag in question was blue and looked like a pony character:
http://myfox8.com/2014/03/21/nc-boy-now-allowed-to-carry-his-my-little-pony-backpack/

Jazz Shaw, why did you pick the most frilly-looking, pink backpack pony bag that you could find? Very misleading! Shame on you.

Some may be surprised to learn that this pony cartoon is popular among kids and (often nerdy) adults alike. It’s a smart, well-made series and is worlds away from the extended toy commercial “My Little Pony” cartoons of the 1980′s.

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 4:42 AM

My suggestion was for Grayson to purchase the MLP backpack with just the male ponies on it (Big Mac! Dr Whoves!) and put a brick in it. The school couldn’t gripe because they didn’t ban *that* backpack, and the bullies would have a hard time complaining with out any teeth. As for Bronies being perverts, i am a semi-Brony myself, i like the ladies, and i’m no more deviant than one of Ace’s Moron Horde. Only the perverts end up on TV.

hurricane567 on March 23, 2014 at 4:44 AM

This is closer to what this kid’s bag looks like:
http://m.rakuten.com/product/259670634?listingid=322229686&adid=18179

Jazz apparently picked picture of a bag based on the OLD, very different, 1980′s cartoon that was geared more towards girls.

Hey, Jazz, do you even know what decade we’re in?

Heckuva job, JS, and good researching!

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 5:06 AM

Joyner hasn’t changed much. That’s not a good thing.

Equating the book bag with an incendiary message on a tee shirt is a false equivalency. My Little Pony isn’t “fighting words,” and just because it is eminently mock-able doesn’t mean it’s the kid’s fault – or the Pony’s.

That said, if some other boy decided to beat the snot out of the kid, it wouldn’t be all bad. It might save the kid in the long run.

Me, I’d like to beat Joyner with the book bag.

Adjoran on March 23, 2014 at 5:39 AM

I was of two minds on this story — first, that the kid had the right to express himself without the harassment, and that the school should have done something to the bullies, not to him. But, on the other hand, as a parent, I would have been concerned enough about bullying to know not to send my son to school in that backpack because of its perception of being “girly.”

And with that being said — I do like the show. I’ve watched it with my five year old son, it’s entertaining and has some good messages without being “preachy” about them. But I had told myself that I wouldn’t buy toys from the show for him because of the “girly” perception (and thankfully he hasn’t asked me for any).

But wasn’t there a story not too long ago about a little girl being bullied because she was a “Star Wars” fan, being told that it was only for boys?

ScoopPC11 on March 23, 2014 at 5:40 AM

School provides teachable moment when, in an effort to stop bullying, it treats a boy as ignorant and incapable and bullies him. This teaches the power of regulated power by those entrusted with it and how easily they will abuse it. It is a life-long lesson in that the school acts as a mini-State and how they treat children is how they are acculturating children on how to behave as adults.

Never assume a child is ignorant and incapable of seeing the results of his or her actions. At any age. The learning process is about committing non-fatal mistakes and recovering from them… and if you can’t commit them when you are young, then you are set up to make them as an adult when things are less well protected.

The school forgot what education was all about and assumed power can fix any problem. That is a mistake that was not learned by those adults when young, but they are now teaching it by their authoritarian actions.

ajacksonian on March 23, 2014 at 6:21 AM

I had a Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox. Complete with the General Lee. Confederate flag and all.

DStreete on March 23, 2014 at 8:55 AM

This is closer to what this kid’s bag looks like:
http://m.rakuten.com/product/259670634?listingid=322229686&adid=18179

Jazz apparently picked picture of a bag based on the OLD, very different, 1980′s cartoon that was geared more towards girls.

Hey, Jazz, do you even know what decade we’re in?

Heckuva job, JS, and good researching!

bluegill on March 23, 2014 at 5:06 AM

Good grief, if anything, that leans boyish, not girly.

Count to 10 on March 23, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Thanks, and good night!

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 1:17 AM

Somehow the ‘other side’ always finds a way to misquote us. If you leave out stuff it changes everything. In the Bible it says “there is no God.”. The other half of the quotation makes a little difference. “The fool hath said in his heart…”

Squiggy on March 23, 2014 at 9:04 AM

The parents’ first mistake was naming their boy Grayson.

Nomennovum on March 23, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Sounds to me like both the school and Jazz Shaw don’t know much about “Bronies”. But the kids do, so the likelihood of getting beaten up over it isn’t as strong as some might think.

Murf76 on March 23, 2014 at 9:15 AM

Mom is an idiot.Tell the kid My Little Pony is for girls.Buy him something more appropriate fpr a nine year old boy-his choice.The My Little Pony bookbag wasn’t the catalyst for the bullying,the mother was.

redware on March 23, 2014 at 9:19 AM

For a 9y/o boy in public elementary school

“My Little Pony” backpack = “Kick-Me” sign

Obviously has no big brother.
Maybe a case of “has two mommies”??

BigSven on March 23, 2014 at 10:09 AM

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 1:07 AM

Hope the doorknob caught you, hypocritical jackass.

S. D. on March 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Of course he should be able to bring his pony lunch box to school, but he also needs to be aware that kids are going to pick on him because it is not normal, and this has been going on in school since the beginning. Kids are cruel and mean. It is just a plain fact. It goes back to the strongest of the species survive. It is not something that is taught. It is kids that group together and pick on the weaker kids, just like in the animal kingdom.

F_This on March 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM

S. D. on March 23, 2014 at 10:56 AM

Well that wasn’t called for. I obviously was confused, which I admitted and asked if he really meant what I thought he meant. I never changed his quote. I said what I thought he meant, my interpretation of it. I didn’t ascribe to him anything, like he did to me.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Have we created children so delicate, so sheltered, that being told by others that his book bag choice is girly amounts to being bullied? And people still wonder how each generation gets stronger sense of being entitled to everything just the way they want it to be.

katiejane on March 23, 2014 at 12:49 PM

Sorry I didn’t take the time to parse your disturbed rant for the small qualifiers you used. Wait. No I’m not.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 12:32 AM

what I thought he meant, my interpretation of it. I didn’t ascribe to him anything, like he did to me.

Try reading that last quote out loud.

S. D. on March 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM

Mom is an idiot.Tell the kid My Little Pony is for girls.Buy him something more appropriate fpr a nine year old boy-his choice.The My Little Pony bookbag wasn’t the catalyst for the bullying,the mother was.

redware on March 23, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Who appointed you the judge of what is appropriate for one’s gender?

zoyclem on March 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Oh. I almost forgot. The false image of the book bag in question, when the actual object is publicly known, seems somewhat unprofessional.

Maybe Jazz should write for the times.:p

/jk

S. D. on March 23, 2014 at 1:17 PM

It’s hard to tell from the coverage precisely what the parents were thinking when they agreed to send Grayson off to class with that bag. I suppose it’s possible that they felt they were striking a blow for gender neutrality.

Yeah, I’m with the Mom critics, and by extension the No-Show Dad. I don’t care what you think you’re doing or why…you don’t send a 9 year old boy to school in North Carolina with My Little Pony anything, unless you are testing the validity of his most recent Taekwondo belt.

Come on.

Jaibones on March 23, 2014 at 1:44 PM

Who appointed you the judge of what is appropriate for one’s gender?

zoyclem on March 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

If no one else has, I do.

Jaibones on March 23, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Who appointed you the judge of what is appropriate for one’s gender?

zoyclem on March 23, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Who appointed you as the defender of metrosexuals everywhere?

sharrukin on March 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

What kind of parent allows a boy to become an MLP fan anyway? I think he has the right to be a fan. But maybe social services need to measure his hormonal levels and/or living/parenting situation for any abnormalities. Fact of the matter is, being an MLP fan is 99% guaranteed to be a disadvantage for him and make his life more difficult.

Federati on March 23, 2014 at 1:55 PM

My question for this kid..do you not like G.I. Joes or transformers? Seriously..boy up kid

sadsushi on March 23, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Banning a book bag because of potential or past behavior of others is no different to me than banning certain types of firearms because of potential or past behavior of others.

nightowl on March 23, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Just spent some time reading the post and comments, what have we become? I am truly sad for our nation.

This whole situation is telling of just how far we have slipped. Sad really, both the story and the reactions to it.

D-fusit on March 23, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Jazz, change the front page – the bag is blue.

Schadenfreude on March 23, 2014 at 3:45 PM

I had a Gilligan’s Island lunchbox and nobody ever beat me up.

mike_NC9 on March 23, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Try reading that last quote out loud.

S. D. on March 23, 2014 at 12:57 PM

He put something I didn’t say in a quote box and put my name under it as if I had actually written it out. I did not do that to him. I interpreted what he said, wrongly, I admit, and reacted to it. There is a difference and you calling me a hypocrite is factually wrong.

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

What that school should have done is send the bullies home!

Antivenin on March 23, 2014 at 4:11 PM

I had a Gilligan’s Island lunchbox and nobody ever beat me up.
mike_NC9 on March 23, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Yeah but your name is “Mike”….this kid’s name is “Grayson”..

BigSven on March 23, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Okay, here’s the THING: My Little Pony swag is hugely popular among boys in school because of it’s ridiculousness. MLP gear mocks it’s pansy imagery. This is a case of adults not knowing at all what the kids are into.

Squaresville man! My Little Pony is the bees’ knees.

RockRib on March 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM

I did not do that to him….There is a difference
cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

You altered the meaning of my post and argued against your own invented viewpoint, pawned off as mine. As for any potential “difference,” there’s this little gem from you, directed at me:

Sorry I didn’t take the time to parse your disturbed rant for the small qualifiers you used. Wait. No I’m not.

You don’t bother to read a post (you said you “skimmed” it), you ascribe a position to the person’s post (mine) which was in fact obviously and completely incorrect, you argue against your fictionalized viewpoint, and then when called on it through conduct mirroring your own, you turn to qualifying and parsing your own conduct while refusing to actually read the qualified and parsed (otherwise known as limited and analyzed) thoughts of another poster!

You’re a trip!

xNavigator on March 23, 2014 at 4:30 PM

The kid might have been pushed out of the house with the pony stuff but it really is a growing fad.
My nephew is a Bronie so I got some links from him today. I don’t get it. But if you want to research a little about new media and entertainment then go ahead and click.

So here is the Bronies theme song.IT’s about a character in MLP.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPfMb50dsOk

It’s probably just a big joke but there are lots of Bronies and the “movement” is growing. THe truth is I think it’s better then all the twerk/drug/drank/Ho/skank junk marketed for kids… but I’m no expert.

I do have one recurring nightmare though; THe Bronies are the future shock troops for OFA, wearing pony eared hoodies and beating very old people in the streets who refuse to submit to the “magic of friendship”.

here is Hasbro giving a shout out to Bronies (it’s in the middle of the promo)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTPqjKk_xCo

Note: I am not a Brony and I am not promoting Bronyism! I don’t think I could make it through an episode of MLP.

BoxHead1 on March 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

cptacek on March 23, 2014 at 4:10 PM

You attributed things not stated by him to him, lack of quote box not withstanding. I stand by my original insult.

S. D. on March 23, 2014 at 8:12 PM

I do have one recurring nightmare though; THe Bronies are the future shock troops for OFA, wearing pony eared hoodies and beating very old people in the streets who refuse to submit to the “magic of friendship”.

Actually you would be surprised at how many right-of-center bronies there are (myself included).

DethMetalCookieMonst on March 23, 2014 at 9:32 PM

Oh yeah, one more thing…

FLUTTERSHY IS BEST PONY!!

DethMetalCookieMonst on March 23, 2014 at 9:32 PM

You attributed things not stated by him to him, lack of quote box not withstanding. I stand by my original insult.

S. D. on March 23, 2014 at 8:12 PM

Here’s the funny part. I misread him. He disagreed with my misreading….which means we actually agree.

cptacek on March 24, 2014 at 12:04 AM

Blink, look at this:
http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/14/3702347/wake-sheriffs-office-still-investigating.html

^Recently a boy was bullied so badly over liking the new My Little Pony that he attempted suicide and left himself with very serious health problems. I’m surprised (or maybe I’m not, considering the amount of research he usually does for posts) that Jazz didn’t link to that story here.

Anyway, I don’t think we can be so dismissive about the harm caused by this intense bullying.

Unfortunately, schools prevents kids from dishing out their own form of negative reinforcement in response to teasing. Glenn Beck’s question about the kid expecting others to fight his battles for him the rest of his life is terrible. Schools don’t let you “fight” any battles.
blink on March 24, 2014 at 2:12 AM

I certainly agree. I was uncomfortable watching that. Didn’t like some of what Glenn said either. Seemed like he was framing things a certain way because he was concerned about what his listeners might think. Also didn’t think it was necessary to lead off with declaring that he wasn’t into the ponies himself. I mean, who cares, was he afraid of being tagged as a brony? Not needed at that time.

Apparently what was being said to the kid on an ongoing basis: “kill yourself” “you’re a f-*****” “you’re gay” over and over and over.

I don’t think this kind of treatment of a 9-year-old can be labeled mere “making fun of.” It’s worse.

As for teachers telling the student there’s only so much they can do, are you serious?? How about teachers enforce the school rules, which surely say that all students must treat one another and staff members with respect. The bullies must be dealt with. The school’s job is to ensure that all the students are able to attend in peace and have a comfortable environment in which to learn. This kind of serious bullying must be taken seriously, and should not be seen as just some life trial that will eventually make you tougher. I blame the likely negligent and clueless teachers and administration, who, even after being told what was going on, failed to step in and act properly. There should be serious consequences for harassing other students.

bluegill on March 24, 2014 at 4:14 AM

Who appointed you as the defender of metrosexuals everywhere?

sharrukin on March 23, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Apparently you did, “macho” man. LOL

zoyclem on March 24, 2014 at 7:05 AM

Can I get a bro-hoof?

And yes, I agree. Jazz, you need to change the picture to actually be acurate. I hate it when people cofuse MLP:FiM with the MLP of the 80s and 90s. They are not even in the same league. Bronies are not into MLP gens 1, 2, and 3. We like MLP:FiM.

DethMetalCookieMonst on March 24, 2014 at 7:23 AM

“Can I get a bro-hoof?”

You can. *Hoofs*

Someone recently asked, “Why doesn’t the kid like transformers instead of MLP?”

Well, two reasons.

1) I put up a “death battle” parody above in the comments comments of one of the transformers (Starscream) duking it out with Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash, having a black belt and capable of speeds in excess of mach 10, handily dismembered Starscream into tiny pieces. Even AMRAAM has trouble against a target that travels at mach 10 yet still has the turn radius of a cessna. That’s — what — how many double-digit gravities? Starscream couldn’t land a hit even with a full missile volley at point blank range. Whereas 1/2 300 kg of pony mass x hypersonic velocity ^2 = a LOT of kinetic energy. Ouch.

2) The guys who made the spoof had to go all the way back to the 1980s to get the transformers part of the story. I know we have transformers movies, but that hasn’t translated to the kind of pop culture penetration you get with a TV show. Transformers is *my* generation’s pop culture. It has limited appeal to a younger generation, especially modeling aircraft which — to my regret — are being retired from the USAF inventory.

I would never question the masculinity of a young male who likes Rainbow Dash, since Dash does all the things boys love — very high speeds, martial arts, working to fly in the Pony version of the Blue Angels, a fierce competitor. A boy who identifies closely with Fluttershy, well, I might quirk an eyebrow. But I get the impression RD was specifically put in so boys could have something to appreciate about the show too.

pendell2 on March 24, 2014 at 9:08 AM

That Death Battle is a classic and one of my favorites.

Speaking of Rainbow Dash, am I the only one who thought it was odd that RD uttered the line “They’ll shower us with diamonds” in the song about the GGG? I would figure RD couldn’t give two sh#ts about diamonds.

BTW, MLP isn’t so much a “cartoon for girls” as it is a cartoon for animation geeks like me and fans of great cartoon writing.

DethMetalCookieMonst on March 24, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Even in a business where we tend to dive off the deep end of silliness from time to time, this one may stretch the definition of Breaking News just a tad.

Yet you went with it anyway, Jazz. Is this what you call a “slow news day”?

earlgrey on March 24, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Well, at least we all know who the bronies are at ha now.

Murphy9 on March 24, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Lots of boys do and play at girl stuff. No big deal. I was teased and pushed for it. After awhile I stopped it by beating the snot out of the chief bully. The others stopped. Later I grew out of the girl stuff. When your that young, well, that’s just the way it is.

jake49 on March 24, 2014 at 4:58 PM

This is one where I could argue either side in a debate. But I am mighty curious about a few things.

1. Is there a history of “bullying” with this boy? (Is he generally well liked, well rounded?)
2. Were these boys his peers? And how did his friends react? What did they say when he first showed up with the MLP backpack?
3. Where’s Dad?
4. Are there any indications that this boy IS gender conflicted OR that Mom has an agenda?

The reason I ask about Mom is, I suspect the average kid who gets even a flicker of peer disapproval at that age is going to want to swap backpacks, not let it get to the point where it’s so bad that it a disruption and the school fears for his safety.

Just something about this story seems off. Also, I was surprised the kid was 9. I expected a 6 or 7 yeaar old. A 9 yr old is a different thing. He’s attracted to the MLP thing for his own reasons but they are definitely at odds with most 4th and 5th grade boys. Half of the female audience is younger than 9.

But, and this is a biggie…there is a large and growing group of Bronies out there. Guys of all ages and sexual orientations (many straight) who are charmed by the artwork, the friendship theme and the fact that there are boy ponies with cool roles. I don’t personally get why grown men swoon, but hey! Different strokes.

Nana on March 24, 2014 at 5:56 PM

Some times a kid or grown-up basically tells his peers to go to he11, I don’t care if you like my bookbag or not. If true, then I admire the kid’s spunk. He has the absolute right to carry the dang bag. This is the most idiotic thing I’ve ever heard of.

cimbri on March 25, 2014 at 12:26 AM

Kurt Hummel would be proud.

fatlibertarianinokc on March 25, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I realize this thread is near death, but since it was click-bait from the beginning, I guess one more thought won’t hurt.

Learned something interesting today. Did you know that pink was originally a boy’s color while blue was a girl’s color? So help me, it’s true.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/when-did-girls-start-wearing-pink-1370097/?no-ist

“For example, a June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department said, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.” Other sources said blue was flattering for blonds, pink for brunettes; or blue was for blue-eyed babies, pink for brown-eyed babies, according to Paoletti.

In 1927, Time magazine printed a chart showing sex-appropriate colors for girls and boys according to leading U.S. stores. In Boston, Filene’s told parents to dress boys in pink. So did Best & Co. in New York City, Halle’s in Cleveland and Marshall Field in Chicago.

Today’s color dictate wasn’t established until the 1940s, as a result of Americans’ preferences as interpreted by manufacturers and retailers. “It could have gone the other way,” Paoletti says.”

======
The lesson I’m taking from this is that, while there are biological axioms (girls get pregnant, boys don’t), a lot of what we think of in terms of gender roles is cultural conditioning. What’s more, every generation thinks of these in different terms.

FDR’s parents put him in a dress as a child, because in that time children didn’t get gender-specific clothing until they were much older. FDR did not grow up to be a weepy man unable to fend for himself. Instead, he led the US into the worst war in its history and was victorious.

So I wouldn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that, because a boy of the next generation likes things a bit different from our generation, it follows that they’re going to be weepy girly men. I remember the previous generation saying the same things about *MY* generation X, and I know darn well what their parents said about them, because the TV series from that era were still on the air when I was a child.

“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” — Mark 2:20-22.

Respectfully,

Brian P.

pendell2 on March 26, 2014 at 10:40 AM

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