Mom Should Have Warned 9-Year-Old About Wearing a “My Little Pony” Backpack [OPINION]
A boy 9-year-old's "My Little Pony" backpack has caused quite the national story, so here is my take on the situation.
First, here are the facts of the story. Andrew Grayson is a 9-year-old who has a blue fuzzy "My Little Pony" backpack. When he took the backpack to school, he became a victim of bulling. When the mother brought the issue to the principal, he banned the backpack. The mother, Noreen Bruce replied,
“Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape,” said Bruce. “It’s flawed logic.”
Grayson is currently being home schooled and there is a "Support For Grayson" Facebook page.
I am in no way shape or form supporting bulling. I was the fat, uncoordinated, and redheaded kid in school, and I heard my fair share of bulling remarks. With that said, the mother had to know this could possibly put a target on her kid. If she did not know, then she needs to stop living under a rock. The kid has every right to express himself, but other kids are mean and that is just a fact about being a boy that age. I would compare it to an adult situation. I know because I went through a similar situation in school.
This is a true story: when I was 11, I loved rap music. I still do, by the way. So I thought I should dress like Nelly. I put a Band-Aid under my eye and a doo rag on my head. Reminder, I am a chubby redhead. My mother then informed me, "It is fine to like this music and the style, but here is what people could say, here is who could be offended and what could happen at school." Thanks to her, I reevaluated my decision and took it off. Thanks Mom.
The school also handled the situation wrong, because even though Grayson had the target does not mean the other kids do not need to face consequences for their actions. Simply banning the backpack is not the answer, because the backpack is not the problem. For example, when I was in high school I knew kids who were on athletic teams who had "little girl" backpacks who were not bullied at all. These guys were much older and already "popular" at school though.
All in all, this whole thing has been handled poorly. The school has to know better than to single out the victim. It is simply not how it needs to be handled. The mom also needs to let her kid know it is fine to take a "My Little Pony" backpack to school but there could be consequences. She knew it was not the norm and should have better prepared the kid for what was going to come. Just like if I want have a purse, my parents would have said, "Keep the purse Derrick, but here is how some cruel people may react. Are your prepared to deal with this?"
There is my take on the situation. Everyone from the mother, the school, and the bullies need to reevaluate the decisions they made. As for Grayson, rock your pony bag, just know 9-year-olds are not always nice and understanding.