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He was being bullied over his My Little Pony backpack. The school sided with the bullies.

Rainbow Dash, the star of Grayson’s awesome My Little Pony backpack.

Here’s a thing: Grayson Bruce, a 9-year-old boy in the US, was being bullied for wearing a My Little Pony backpack to school.

When the school noticed the bullying taking place, they acted quickly.

They told the student in question that they wanted the bullying to stop. They told the student in question that the bullying was an awful distraction. They told the student in question that their behaviour needed to change or they would be punished.

Sounds fine, until you learn the student in question who got that stern talking-to was not the bully.

The student who was told he needed to change his behaviour was the victim, 9-year-old Grayson Bruce.

According to local news WLOS-TV, Grayson was ordered by school officials to stop bringing his My Little Pony backpack to school because it was a “distraction” and “a trigger for bullies.”

Yes, a trigger.

After complaining to his teachers that he was being physically and verbally tormented by other students in his class, Grayson was basically told it was his own fault. For tempting them.

Excuse me, School Officials, but I’d like to call bullshit.

Grayson and his mum.

When a 9-year-old kid is being physically and verbally bullied at school, you don’t solve the problem by telling the victim to change. That just legitimises the behaviour of the bullies. You tell the bullies to change. You ban the bullying, not the freaking backpack.

You say “Hey, kids, you may not understand this right now, but the way you’re treating that boy is heartless and awful and kind of makes you look like nasty people. We’re going to take some time to figure out why you think it’s okay to treat another human that way, teach you why it’s wrong, and then if you keep doing it, you’ll be punished until you stop.”

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Grayson’s school decided to go with a different message. They went more in the ‘stop being such a loser and bullies won’t treat you like a loser’ direction.

Big F*cking Mistake.

Telling a kid to hide who they are to avoid being treated badly sets a dangerous precedent. It’s making the kid think they are culpable in their own abuse. And that is a tragic life-lesson to be teaching kids at such a young age – the bullies and the victims.

Rainbow Dash – the ‘bully triggering’ backpack in question.

Grayson’s school didn’t just suggest he leave that backpack at home, they demanded it. And by doing this, they immediately made everyone involved think Grayson was the problem.

It was essentially saying “Hey Grayson, buddy, the problem here is you. Stop being so weird with that weird backpack. You are the reason you are being bullied.”

They were implicitly telling the bullies “Yeah, we get it, he’s a bit weird and his backpack is funny. We’ll make him stop wearing it, okay?”

The backpack didn’t create disruption in that classroom, the kids who thought it was okay to bully someone did. Their’s is the behavior that needs to change, not Grayson’s.

Luckily, not everybody is as backwards in their attitudes about bullying as Grayson’s school. His story was picked up by local news, and a Facebook page supporting him now has over 20,000 likes. A Navy officer even posted a YouTube video telling him to stay strong and always be himself:

Grayson’s story has touched so many because the message is so clear to everyone – except for the teachers who let Grayson down: the bullies need to change, not Grayson.

If you want to support Grayson, spread the word by sharing this post and tagging it #SupportForGrayson. Oh – and if you want to buy an AMAZING My Little Pony backpack just like Grayson’s, we’ve got you covered: head to eBay right here.


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