Buncombe County, NC (WLTX) -- A 9-year-old boy in North Carolina has been told not to bring his favorite book bag to school any more.

Grayson Bruce and his mom say the school told him to leave the My Little Pony backpack at home, because it had become a distraction and was a trigger for bullying.

Indeed, Grayson has encountered some bullying at school.

They're taking it a little too far, with punching me and pushing me down, he explains. [They're] calling me horrible names. Stuff that really shouldn't happen.

Grayson has developed a following on Facebook after a friend made a support page for him. The boy stands by his favorite cartoon and the message he says it sends.

It's promoting friendship, Grayson's mom says. There's no bad words, there's no violence. It's hard to find that, even in cartoons now.

Buncombe County School District officials say they've taken steps to stop the bullying.

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