A 9-year-old boy said he's been bullied at a Buncombe Co. school because of a backpack of his favorite show.
Grayson Bruce is a fan of the animated show "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic", and said he didn't think twice about getting a backpack featuring one of his favorite characters.
"I thought it was a blue backpack," he said. "I didn't think it was going to get the reaction that it did."
That reaction from his peers at Candler Elementary School, he said, was swift and painful.
"I was getting bullied before I got the backpack, and it got a lot worse when I did," he said.
That news didn't sit well with his mother, Noreen Bruce, who said she even got a call from the school about the bullying, essentially blaming her son.
"They called me and told me that he was not allowed to bring it to school anymore," she said. "They took him to the office the next day and told him that it was too much of a distraction."
FOX Carolina reached out for a comment from Buncombe County Schools on the bullying and what the Bruce family said happened.
In a statement, they said, "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."
Grayson Bruce said they pinned the blame on him for the bullying, adding, "they just thought, you know, 'he's causing the problem, it's his fault that this is happening.'"
The Bruce family isn't taking this lying down and they aren't alone.
As of Friday evening, over 10,000 people have liked a "Support For Grayson" Facebook page and hundreds have also signed a petition to let him bring his backpack back to school.
Despite all the support, Grayson recently told his mother that he wants to be home schooled, claiming that he didn't feel safe anymore.
Grayson's mother said the whole ordeal has left her heartbroken, but she is standing by her son.
"He should like whatever he wants to like," she said.
Copyright 2014 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved.
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
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