An 11-year-old boy in North Carolina may have permanent brain damage after hanging himself due to bullying by schoolmates.

According to reports, Michael Morones hanged himself from his bunk bed last month after being severely bullied by other students because he loved “My Little Pony.”

“He’d come home and say, ‘Mom, I’m tired of people being mean to me, I’m tired or people calling me gay, I’m tired of people telling me I’m ugly, that I’m stupid,’” said Michael’s mother Tiffany Morones-Suttle. “He hung himself off the side of the bunk bed, off the railing.”

Michael’s love of the popular children’s television program made him a prime target for bullies in school. The show is generally marketed more towards young girls, but over the years, a growing number of males have taken a liking to the show, calling themselves “bronies.”

“It teaches the most basic moral values to a lot of complex thoughts,” said Michael’s stepfather Shannon Suttle.

Michael is currently fighting to recover at a hospital in Raleigh, but doctors say that the damage done to his brain could be life-long.

As for the bullies, Michael’s mother says that instead of going after them, a change needs to be made in how children are being taught to behave and in how they treat their peers.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say you need to go after bullies and hold them responsible,” said Tiffany. “But you know, I don’t think that’s what Mike would want. I would rather teach people how to do right than turn around than punish, because punishment doesn’t always work.”

Michael is scheduled to have a tracheotomy this week, and the family is accepting donations to the Michael Morones Recovery Fund to help with expenses to treat the young boy.