So I am listening to “The View” while I’m cleaning and I have to sit down and write about this.
One of the hot topics is about a boy in North Carolina who was told by his school that in order to stop being beat up by bullies he should stop wearing his My Little Pony backpack. (Here’s a link to an article about it).

What fresh hell is this? Really?

First, let me address the school and then some of the commentary from the show.
The school, and every other school for that matter, needs to reevaluate bullying. Years and years ago, back when I was in fifth grade I came to the realization that man corrupted the word of the Bible. Why?  I went to a private Catholic school  and was CONSTANTLY harrassed mostly in part because I came from a blue collared family and couldn’t wear the latest Nike shoes or whatever for gym class. When I finally got the courage to tell someone of authority I was told to turn the other cheek. Yeah, I did that all the way to 8th grade before I lost my cool, but nothing happened to the kids that were doing the bullying. Whatever happened to the age old adage “treat other how you want to be treated” ?

This was back in the 90s. Now, with social media in the mix schools have  even more to contend with. Why is this kid, the victim, being told to change his ways? I mean really, him having a My Little Pony backpack doesn’t hurt anyone, does it? No it doesn’t.  It’s not like this kid is walking around in a shirt with racial slurs on it. Him having this backpack makes him happy, shows off his fandom pride, and does NOT offend anyone (unlike say, the shirt I mentioned earlier).

Schools need to stop acting like they are widget making factories and let kids be creative (and that’s a whole blog in and of itself). The kids who step out of line and do something that the collective whole disagrees with (such as beating someone up that’s not in self defense and with no cause) need to be punished. Not a kid wearing a backpack.

Now onto the show. Sherri Shepard, who I know is quite religious,  shocked me by saying the kid should leave the backpack at home. Her argument is that the parents can control this (unlike saying skin color or a handicap) why are they putting the kid in harms way? She went on that it’s the parents responsibility to keep their kid safe, and if giving up the backpack would keep the kid safe, then that’s what should be done.

Reminds me alot of what my principal and teachers told me back in the day to conform to what the bullies want. Guess what Ms. Shepard, the bullies win. Those bullies grow up and escalate into other problems such as being bigoted or racists or sexists. Why? Because the world conformed to them as children and they want that for the rest of their life.

Whoopi Goldberg basically made that point. I wish I could capture verbatim what Ms.Goldberg said because it was perfect, but in essence she said that if the bullies win on the backpack that it becomes a slippery slope of saying someone can’t have a certain backpack to someone can’t do something because of how they look etc.

Keep in mind that Ms.Goldberg is indirectly part of the geek fandom and a geek herself (she was on Star Trek remember?)

I wish I could meet the kid. I would give him a high five for being a good fan and displaying his Bronie pride. I would also like to give kudos to the parents for getting him the backpack without batting an eye.

If you have kids, please encourage whatever they are interested in. This could be wanting to play football, being a fan of Doctor Who, or playing music. Everyone has a passion about something. Encourage that passion and support it.

Sometimes it’s that passion that gets your kid through a hard day with bullies, deal with death or divorce.  In the case of things like My Little Pony, comic books and pretty much any Sci – fi show, it helps teach your kid about acceptance and tolerance.

Maybe, a punishment for these bullies is to make them watch My Little Ponies:Friendship Is Magic.  They just…just may be able to learn something.

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Comments
  1. […] Geeks unite…but let’s be nice: kids, fandoms and bullies (Part 3 of Geeks Unite) […]

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  2. eightbitbrit says:

    This pops up every now and then, I was teaching PreK when a story came out about a 4 year old boy who wanted to be Daphne for Halloween and his mother got harassed by other parents for letting their male child dress as female. It’s the school’s job to create a healthy learning atmosphere step one is teaching tolerance and compassion. Blaming a child for inciting bullying on themselves or being a distraction is profoundly messed up.

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    • murdocksgirl says:

      There was awhile that I worked at a school district, so I understand the problems that the district (any school district) faces. I was talking about this with Scourge and he pointed out that districts have the mentality to “fix” the problem by having the victim change their ways. In his opinion its easier for a district to “fix” one kid as oppose to a handful. He has a point, but at the end of the day, the victim of bullying gets victimized twice over in my humble opinion. Districts with “zero tolerance” polices need to enforce them, but not to the extent of say, suspending a kid for bringing a plastic knife in his lunchbox to cut an apple for carrying a “weapon”.

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