Not long after I participated in and spread the word about the fundraising efforts for Michael Morones and his bout with bullying for liking My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (he was bullied to the point of attempting to take his own life, which left him suffering severe brain damage from which he is still recovering), a friend pointed me towards an article leading to a news story about another bullied boy, this time nine-year-old Grayson Bruce, over a My Little Pony lunchbox.
Here’s a selection from the article from theblaze.com regarding Grayson:
[…]When the bullying came to a head and Noreen Bruce got involved, she said school officials blamed Grayson’s open appreciation for “My Little Pony” rather than punishing the bullies.
Last Thursday morning her boy was “so upset he would not get out of the car,” Noreen Bruce wrote on Facebook. Then a school counselor showed up and said her son “should hide his lunch box in his backpack and that when you carry things like that these things happen.”
“I was later contacted by the principal saying Grayson could no longer bring this lunchbox to school. My son is being called awful names and has even been told to ‘go home and kill himself!’ Now on top of everything he can’t bring a lunch box he really likes and I feel like is being sent the message that this is his fault.”
The school district declined an interview with WLOS but stated that “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.”
-Excerpts from the article
“These things happen”. Verbal and physical abuse on levels that would be considered felonies if they were committed by adults are “things” that “happen”. Are you kidding me? That’s coming from an elementary school counselor’s mouth, much less anyone who dares claim to be an ethical human being?
Let’s assume for a second that it is somehow ethically wrong for this boy to like a show that promotes friendship and love. At what point does that, or anything else at all on this planet, justify this boy being told to kill himself and being physically harmed? At what point did it justify what happened to Michael Morones? At what point will it justify this kind of thing happening again to any other child on the planet?
It just shouldn’t matter at any point that because they’re boys who like something that is stereotypically “for girls”. If ever there was justification for such disgusting and inhumane acts as these, liking a cartoon is so far from even being a candidate that it’s absurd to even consider it an option, much less a cartoon that promotes love and friendship (and the occasional plastic toy, heaven forbid).
That’s like saying it’s okay to beat up a child over liking corn dogs— you may not like corn dogs, you could even have some moral reason to dislike corn dogs. Hell, if you really wanted, you could add the circumstance of this child somehow being annoying about their love of corn dogs.
No sane, ethical human being would find battery and verbal abuse to be a reasonable response to any of those things, nor would a school that is worthy of teaching your kids ever side with the people who would respond that way.
Buncombe County School District, how about instead of teaching your children to hide what makes them different because it turns physical and verbal abuse into “things that happen”, you teach them not to commit assault and battery towards each other? How about you teach them to not care so damn much that some kid likes a cartoon that’s not for them? How about instead of calling the backpack a “trigger for bullying”, you teach the kids not to pull that trigger in the first place?
Perhaps we should sit some of these people down for an episode or two, God knows they could use it.
There is a facebook page in support for Grayson Bruce that can be found here.
Special thanks to Jennifer Cario for alerting me to the news.