This week two separate schools made headlines for their absurd policies. A North Carolina elementary school told 9 year old Grayson Bruce that he was no longer allowed to wear his My Little Pony backpack to school because it was considered a “trigger for bullying.”
School Officials were aware that Grayson was being physically and verbally attacked at school for carrying the bag – their solution was to have the bag removed because it was causing a “disruption in the classroom.” Instead of reprimanding the bullies the school chose to punish Grayson for liking a television show about ponies. Grayson’s mother Noreen has since removed her son from the school and is having him home schooled. Grayson has received loads of support and positive messages on the internet because of the incident and the school has apologized for their ban of the backpack.
A middle school in Chicago caused outrage this week when they banned girls from wearing leggings and tight yoga pants. The parents of female students feel that girls are being unfairly punished and argued that the policy “contributes to rape culture” mentality. School officials plan to meet to discuss the dress code next week to decide whether or not to suspend the ban. A school in Boston has recently enforced a ban on tight jeans, yoga pants and leggings citing that they are distracting to boys and interfere with their academic concentration. Jerelyn Kruljac, a mother of a Boston student, said that “boys need to be taught to respect women no matter what they’re wearing, and that’s a big deal.”
I think the really sad thing about Grayson’s story is how the school handled the situation. There really is no logic behind punishing an innocent boy who is being bullied for liking a cartoon about love and friendship. I’m sure removing the bag from the scenario didn’t change anything and the boys still bullied Grayson for bringing his “girly” backpack to school.
Both the Boston and the Chicago schools should be ashamed of themselves for insinuating that what a girl wears would have an effect on a boy’s behavior. I went to a catholic school which enforced a uniform policy and boys still acted stupid. You can’t blame clothing for the way someone acts, it’s the same as the idea that if a woman wears a short skirt she’s “asking for it” or is easy. Enforcing such a policy backs the claims that women are to blame for rape, when in reality it’s the attackers. I completely agree that boys should be educated on how to respect women and their choices on what to wear. Tight clothes and short skirts don’t mean yes.