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  #1  
Old 18 March 2014, 04:22 AM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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Default School Won’t Let Bullied Boy Bring ‘My Little Pony’ Bag to Class

Quote:
A North Carolina mother whose son has been bullied for bringing a “My Little Pony” bag to class says school officials now won’t let him bring the bag to school.
http://www.wric.com/story/24951935/s...y-bag-to-class

I don't think the school knows what they've opened up here...I think Brony Power is going to come down on them hard. And well it should.

The whole "suppress yourself to avoid being bullied" instead of "let's not tolerate bullying" is a pretty large reason of why I'm as screwed up as I am today.
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  #2  
Old 18 March 2014, 04:25 AM
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I'm embarrassed that until this moment I never realized how close the parallel between standard responses to bullying and standard responses to rape: victim blaming.
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  #3  
Old 18 March 2014, 04:36 AM
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Apparently even Glenn Beck is supporting the kid....although managing to get in negative and possibly transphobic comments about "protected classes" in the spiel.
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Old 18 March 2014, 04:40 AM
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This has been on Equestria Daily for a few days now. I agree that the school should try to stop the bullies, not tell the victim to stop bringing his lunchbag.
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  #5  
Old 18 March 2014, 04:40 AM
moonfall moonfall is offline
 
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This is all over the brony fan communities. Why hasn't the school, oh, I don't know, punished the bullies?

Crocoduck_hunter, I've also only recently realized the same thing. I just never made the connection for some reason.
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  #6  
Old 18 March 2014, 04:56 AM
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I'm not surprised the bronies are already on it - that's the power of the 'net for one. One finds out, and boom!

But I'm glad it's spreading beyond them, too. This is something that, for instance, the feminist community should be solid on (a kid being targeted for breaking alleged gender stereotypes). Or really, anyone concerned with the issues of bullying, of individuality, free expression, or human rights in general. Not that I expect everyone to make it their number one issue, but the old fashioned "Stop being different!" needs to be seen as a completely inappropriate response, particularly in the educational system.
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  #7  
Old 18 March 2014, 04:58 AM
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A very nice response here:

Top Ten Ways North Carolina School Could Have Responded To Bullying Other Than Banning Grayson’s My Little Pony Backpack
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  #8  
Old 18 March 2014, 05:09 AM
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Ugh. What a stupid and harmful thing to say to a child. That response pisses me off.


However, the only thing I will say in defense of the school is that they cannot and should not publicly state what they have done/will do to the bullies. But, they definitely can (and should have by now) clearly state what procedural steps they are making to ensure this doesn't happen again and apologize profusely and genuinely for such an ignorant action.
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  #9  
Old 18 March 2014, 05:23 AM
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I don't think the school is taking the right approach, but it does appear to be one of those situations where finding and punishing the bullies is a much bigger task than it would appear. Part of the problem being the assumption that there are one or two bullies and everyone knows who they are, just like on television.

Situations are usually more fluid than that with some kids bullying or being bullied depending on the situation. There always seems to be a kid or two at the bottom of the social order who gets called names, bullied, and treated badly by a significant portion of the school.

Add to that the fact that teachers will never see everything that goes on. You put yourself in a situation where the kid will need to be constantly naming classmates to teachers whenever something happens. And that's never going to end well.

There is always the option of draconian punishment for the perpetrators, but that would require a teacher to witness the bullying and might lead to a greater incidence of unseen bullying.

There just isn't an easy solution.
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Old 18 March 2014, 05:36 AM
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Maybe not, but there is a right solution. There are programs out there designed to create a culture where bullying is unacceptable. The solution doesn't have to be punishing the specific bullies vs. banning the bag. In fact, I'd say just punishing the perpetrators alone is unlikely to solve the problem--as is banning the bag.
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Old 18 March 2014, 06:38 AM
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An example of those anti-bullying programs erwins mentioned:
http://www.mauiforum.net/deprogrammi...dness-101.html
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  #12  
Old 18 March 2014, 07:32 AM
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I will say that coming across and discussing this led me to watch a couple more episodes on Netflix (previously I had only watched the two-part intro episode). It really is a pretty darn good show, and I can see why the appeal goes beyond just kids. The stories and themes are fairly simple but the characters and the way they interact (at least in the early episodes) are a lot of fun. It's no "Teen Titans" of course , but I'll probably watch some more from time to time.
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Old 18 March 2014, 02:05 PM
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I have a very hard time with this since my 6 year old son LOVES My Little Ponies (and hey, it is a good show.) My nephew gave my son some grief about the ponies being for girls, and we talked with both boys and worked it out (and my nephew ended up enjoying the show.) However, my son will be entering public schools next year, and I am tempted to urge him to just leave any Pony stuff he has at home, since...damn, getting bullied sucks. I went through a LONG period of that, and it seems that once it starts, it just goes on. On the other hand, I really don't want to squash my son's love of ponies, or shame him in any way.
Last year, my wife let him pick out his new shoes, and he picked out something like these. They are cool, since they light up on the FRONT, instead of the back, but my wife warned him before he got them that they are mostly for girls. He said that was cool. Then...he started getting comments from other kids he was playing with. My wife talked with him and them about how basically, the shoes are for KIDS, not girls. My son said it was cool, but I don't think he has worn those shoes for many months, and it sort of breaks my heart that he got shamed out of them.
Now, I don't know if I should just give him a head's up on the ponies, say nothing, or say that the ponies might just be a home thing.
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  #14  
Old 18 March 2014, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfresh View Post
Then...he started getting comments from other kids he was playing with. My wife talked with him and them about how basically, the shoes are for KIDS, not girls. My son said it was cool, but I don't think he has worn those shoes for many months, and it sort of breaks my heart that he got shamed out of them.
Something similar happenned to my son too. He used to sleep with a little pink doll since he was 3. We called her Bowie, because she had a pink bow on her head. Then, in Kindergarten, they had a "bring a soft toy to class" day. He took the pink doll with him, and one boy teased him. He stopped playing with the doll. We tried to tell him "Some people think that pink things are for girls.. but if he likes the doll he should play with it. He shouldn't let other boys tell him what to play with". He was "ok". But then he never got into the doll as he used to. Don't know where the doll is.

IMO, most bullying happens at smaller scales. Most kids are shamed into stop liking things by plain ol teasing. It's the rare kid that holds on to something despite being teased. Good on him and good on people who are supporting him.
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Old 18 March 2014, 03:37 PM
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On a tangentially related note, Buncombe County is where we got the word "bunkum", or "bunk."
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  #16  
Old 18 March 2014, 03:38 PM
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My 5yo son loves Hello Kitty. He has Hello Kitty sheets, had a super pink HK birthday cake, and has very bright and girly HK rain boots. I try to quietly urge him to keep the more wildly girly items at home and tone it down a bit when we go out, helping him pick things out like the kids' version of these shoes. He did sneak a stuffed HK with purple dress to school the other day though. He does like other things like Disney Cars so I can usually steer him to those sorts of things pretty easily without making an issue of it - mostly I don't want some kid to give him a hard time over his "Hello Kitty love" and cause him to stop enjoying it. If the school said that he needed to stop wearing the shoes or couldn't bring the toy because of what it is or whatnot, I'd hope that I would suggest that maybe the other kids were the the problem they should be focusing on.
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  #17  
Old 18 March 2014, 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I don't think the school is taking the right approach, but it does appear to be one of those situations where finding and punishing the bullies is a much bigger task than it would appear. Part of the problem being the assumption that there are one or two bullies and everyone knows who they are, just like on television.
My oldest was bullied in grade school. The teacher told ALL of the students to write on one sheet of paper who was being bullied, and on another sheet of paper who the bullies were. Every single sheet, except for 4, had the same 4 kids listed as the bullies. As my (now much older son) says "I was bullied by 4 kids in grade school. One got counseling in grade school; the other three have all got jail time."

Ask the kids. They know who the bullies are.
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  #18  
Old 18 March 2014, 07:37 PM
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Not all bullying follows the same patterns.
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Old 18 March 2014, 07:41 PM
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Indeed. When I was in elementary school, I would say that for one girl, the bullies were pretty much all of us. I do wonder what ever happened to her: happily for her, she left the school after 6th grade, and hopefully found a much better place to go.
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  #20  
Old 18 March 2014, 08:19 PM
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Which is why a much broader approach is called for.
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