Pass me the dunce cap -- I have a school district that really deserves to wear it.
An elementary school in North Carolina told a 9-year-old boy who was being bullied because he carried a “My Little Pony” backpack – featuring a character from a TV show stereotypically seen as a girl’s domain – that he could no longer bring the bag to school.
That’s the way they solved the bullying problem?
This is how it starts. This is how kids who may be a little different from the “norm” start to feel like there is something wrong with them. This is how they begin to feel alone, and like they are the ones at fault. This begins the messages they get that lead them to later take drastic measures like killing themselves.
The school leaders should be ashamed of themselves. So many other measures could have been taken to support the student. All the male teachers could have started carrying "My Little Pony" backpacks, for instance. Classes could have had discussions about stereotypical “boy” items that girls like, and vice versa. And a no-tolerance policy for bullying should have been enacted and enforced.
A Facebook page has been launched to support the student, Grayson Bruce, who now is being homeschooled by his mom. So far the page has 52, 575 likes. Make that 52,576. I’m visiting right now to add my click.
UPDATE: On Thursday, March 20, according to the "Support for Grayson" Facebook page, the family met with the school and is "pleased that the school system is working closely with us." They will be forming a Parent Advisory Council on Bullying. The Buncombe County Schools issued this statement: "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."