According to WTVD-TV, Morones is part of a growing group of males of all ages, dubbed "bronies," who watch the program My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic for its moral values and relatable characters.
The boy's family and friends are supportive of Morones's passion for the show, which focuses on empathy and respect, and encourage him to express himself as a brony. The 11-year-old's classmates evidently don't feel the same way.
Morones often came home with stories about being bullied non-stop by others who called the show "gay." The harassment allegedly reached a tragic climax when Morones tried to commit suicide by hanging himself. Thankfully, the boy's mother and stepfather found him in time, but not before the oxygen to his brain was cut off.
The usually spirited child is now lying in a local hospital with a breathing machine and potentially lifelong brain damage. Fellow bronies have already created online tributes, provided donations and sent plush versions of his favorite characters.
Tiffany Morones-Suttle, Michael's mother, is hopeful he'll return to his vibrant self. Regardless of her son's outcome, she is dedicated to stopping the poisonous cycle of bullying, not with punishment, but kindness – just as My Little Pony teaches.
"I've heard a lot of people say you need to go after bullies and hold them responsible," said Morones-Suttle to WTVD-TV. "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."