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NC boy says school banned his ‘My Little Pony’ backpack

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. – A North Carolina mother and her 9-year-old son say school officials won’t let him bring a “My Little Pony” bookbag to class.

The boy says he’s been shoved around by bullies who think his favorite toy is only for girls.

“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 9-year-old Grayson Bruce.

Bruce has developed a following on Facebook after a friend made a support page for him. A Change.org petition has also been created for him.

Bruce and his mother said they stand by his favorite cartoon and the message he says it sends.

“It’s promoting friendship, there’s no bad words, there’s no violence, it’s hard to find that, even in cartoons now,” she said.

Noreen Bruce 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,” Bruce said.

Noreen Bruce said she wants punishment for the students involved.

Buncombe County schools said in a 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.”

CNN contributed to this report.