CANDLER, NC - A North Carolina mom and her 9-year-old son say school officials won't let him bring a My Little Pony bag to class.
Grayson Bruce says he's been shoved around by bullies who think his favorite toy is only for girls.
My Little Pony is a decades-old kids show where pony characters emphasize the bonds of friendship.
If you watch the show, it's really not that girlie. And it's become about anything but friendship for 9-year-old Grayson.
"They're taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn't happen," said Grayson.
Grayson picked the backpack which he says has intensified the attacks against him. He understands why some kids call him names.
"Most of the characters in the show are girls, and most of the people put it toward girls, most of the toys are girlie, and surprisingly I found stuff like this (backpack)," he said.
Grayson has developed a following on Facebook after a friend made a support page for him. Grayson stands by his favorite cartoon and the message he says it sends. His mother says, why not?
"It's promoting friendship, there's no bad words, there's no violence, it's hard to find that, even in cartoons now," said Grayson's mom Noreen Bruce.
But Noreen says Thursday, the school asked him to leave the pack at home because it had become a distraction and was a "trigger for bullying."
"Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying, is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape. It's flawed logic, it doesn't make any sense," said Noreen.
Noreen wants punishment for the students involved. Buncombe County Schools declined an interview, but issued this statement:
"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."