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Racial profiling blasted
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:05
By JOHN NORTH
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Consumer racial profiling is a practice that is damaging to those who are targeted by it and it is not supported by the facts, Shaun Gabbidon said during an address on March 27 at UNC Asheville.

Gabbidon, who addressed “The Black Thief Stereotype: Shopping While Black and Consumer Racial Profiling in the 21st Century,” drew about 100 people to the Sherrill Center’s Mountain View Room.

He is a distinguished professor of criminal justic and public affairs at Penn State University at Harrisburg and a nationally recognized expert on issues of race, ethnicity, crime, private security and criminal justice.

His visit was spurred by an Asheville Mall department store’s false accusation and treatment of Cheryl Johnson.

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‘My Little Pony’ backpack furor: who is to blame for the bullying?
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 12:00
By LESLEE KULBA
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A nine-year-old Candler Elementary boy has had more than his 15 minutes of fame.

According to the short version, Grayson Bruce was asked by administrators at Candler Elementary to leave his backpack at home because it was a “trigger for bullying.” WLOS is taking credit for breaking the story that resulted in national TV attention and a Facebook page that two weeks later had 75,000 likes.

Grayson claimed he had been bullied previously for his interest in the “My Little Pony” TV series. He has a couple of the show’s dolls as well. 

While shopping with his family for back-to-school items, young Grayson selected a “My Little Pony” backpack. It was blue and featured the face of cartoon character Rainbow Dash. 

The backpack only served as another excuse for abuse. In a matter-of-fact voice, Grayson told WLOS, “They’re taking it a little too far, with punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn’t happen.”

At one point, school administrators intervened to “immediately address a situation that had created a disruption in the classroom.”

Following administrators’ advice, Grayson began bringing his lunch to school in a different bag, but his mother, Noreen Bruce, challenged the school system’s philosophy. “It’s flawed logic,” she protested. “Saying a lunchbox is a trigger for bullying is like saying a short skirt is a trigger for rape.”

Grayson’s mom had expected administrators to punish the bullies. When they did not, she pulled Grayson out of school.

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