Gay Indianapolis Teen Expelled for Firing Stun Gun at School Will Sue District [POLL]
One of the reasons why we have the Anti Bullying Bill of Rights in place in our schools is to avert situations like the one I’ll describe.
In Indianapolis, an openly gay teen was expelled from school for defending himself against a band of youths who threatened him over his choice of clothes and mannerisms.
The kid’s weapon of choice was a stun gun…that his mother just happened to have; and gave to her son as a measure of last resort.
The boy is now suing the district, accusing it of failing to stop the relentless harassment by other students.
A lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis on behalf of Darnell “Dynasty” Young, 17, claims teachers and staff at Arsenal Technical High School ignored his repeated pleas to protect him from ongoing abuse on school grounds.
From the day he arrived at Tech, Plaintiff Dynasty Young was subjected to relentless, severe harassment and abuse by other students because he was perceived as gay and because his clothing, behavior, and demeanor did not fit stereotypical notions of masculinity.
He repeatedly reported the abuse to school staff. Rather than take effective measures to protect him, school staff told him that he was to blame for the harassment because of his appearance and told him to change his dress and behavior to conform to stereotypical ideas of masculinity and to be less “flamboyant.”
Young often wore some of his mother’s clothes to school, including knee-high boots, purses, rings and bangles. These accessories were permitted under the school’s dress code, the lawsuit says.
Young says fellow students spat at him, called him derogatory names and threw rocks and empty bottles at him because of the way he dressed and what they perceived as unmasculine behavior.
Young’s mother, Chelisa Grimes, says she eventually gave her son a stun gun to protect himself because she feared for his life.
On April 16, according to the lawsuit, Young was accosted by six male students between classes who yelled at him and threatened to attack him. He fired the stun gun into the air, scaring off the group.
Not long after Dynasty sat down for his next class, a school security officer came into the classroom, cuffed him and escorted him out. The officer remarked, “If you did not dress like this, people would not mess with you,” the lawsuit says.
Young was expelled for a full school year. The school district later reduced the expulsion, but on the condition that Young transfer to an alternative high school.
Young declined and eventually enrolled at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, a charter school not affiliated with Indianapolis Public Schools, where he is taking extra classes in an effort to try graduate on schedule in 2013.
The lawsuit claims violations of federal civil and constitutional rights. It seeks unspecified damages and a reversal of Young’s expulsion.
My guess is that had the district had in place an anti bullying program, Young would probably never have had the need to bring the stun gun to school in the first place.
But do you feel that bringing the stun gun to the school as a measure of last resort trumps the inaction of the administration in helping Young in the first place?
And as such, should the lawsuit go forward?
Young certainly has a right to defend himself…especially in light of his pleas for help falling on deaf ears!
But not with a stun gun in a school setting.
You be the judge!