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Indiana

Bullied gay teen faces expulsion after firing stun gun provided by his mom

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indiana gay teen on Wednesday faced a private school district review board, an effort to expel him after he discharged a stun gun on school property to discourage an attack by school bullies.

Darnell Young

Darnell “Dynasty” Young, 17, a student at Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis, said that classmates repeatedly cursed at him in the school hallways, taunted him with homophobic slurs, following him home from his bus stop, and threatening to beat him up, reported the Indianapolis Star.

One night, as he walked home from his after-school job, they threw rocks at him.

When the 17-year-old and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, told school officials, she said, teachers and administrators seemed to blame Young for being openly gay.

His behavior and the way he dressed called attention to himself, they said.

He accessorized his outfits with his mother’s purses and jewelry. And he loved to dance.

His dance routine to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” won second place at Tech’s talent show in December.

“They said that the problem was he was too flamboyant, with his bags and his purses and his rings,” Grimes said.

Desperate to protect her son from bullies, Grimes gave him a stun gun to carry, just in case.

“I had to do something,” she said. “They throw bottles and rocks at him.”

Now Young faces expulsion from school.

Young said he carried the stun gun in his backpack for a few weeks without using it. But on April 16, as he walked between class buildings during a passing period, Young said six students surrounded him, called him names, cursed and threatened to beat him up.

He said he pulled out the stun gun, pointed it in the air and fired it so it would make the noise, causing the students to retreat.

But minutes later, school police officers caught up with Young at his next class, handcuffed him, and found the stun gun — Young was suspended and recommended for expulsion.

The school and Young were scheduled to testify today before an independent arbitrator, who will review the case and make a decision within a few days on whether Young will be expelled.

Today’s meeting today was closed to the public.

According to Young and his mother, the had previously filed at least 10 formal complaints about the bullying incidents, but school officials formally investigated only one complaint, which resulted in the bully being suspended.

Grimes said that in most cases, principal Larry Yarrell told her that her son should “tone down” his appearance.

“If they weren’t going to protect him,” Grimes said, “I’ll protect him.”

Grimes said she settled on the stun gun because it did not seem as dangerous or illegal as a knife or gun, and are not classified as deadly weapons under Indiana state law, however they are prohibited on school property.

Under Indiana law, a person must be at least 18 to possess a stun gun, and it is a misdemeanor to give a stun gun to a minor. Grimes claims she didn’t know that when she bought the stun gun.

Young’s mother told the Star that she knew her son was gay starting at an early age, and said she has always been supportive of his sexual orientation.

“Everybody in my family knew he was (gay), so we just loved him,” she said, adding that if Young is expelled, she will appeal the decision.

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52 more reader comments:

  1. Sue!!! :-{P}

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:19pm
  2. to be honest, at least it was a stun gun and not one with bullets

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:20pm
  3. If a student feels threatened enough to use such a device in self-defense, then how about the faculty be put under review instead?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:21pm
  4. In all fariness, shooting someone with a stun gun at school is not the right way to go about it :/

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:22pm
  5. this story’s crazy, why the fuck are they expelling him for self defense? if the kid jumped in front of a bus to kill himself, none of those “bullies” would’ve been expelled. I say expel THEM.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:23pm
  6. Its is a good thing its was only a stun gun. We have witnessed all to well when kids are pushed to far.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:23pm
  7. ^The article said he didn’t shoot anyone. He just fired it into the air so it would “make the noise” and scare them off.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:23pm
  8. uh…. yeah that mother was an idiot. stunduns…. in school, not a good idea. no matter what.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:23pm
  9. they got off easy I would have shocked em’ all… lol!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:24pm
  10. Still to many teens have been bullied for being gay in school like me I’m glad he used a stun gun because he will be one less person who will commit suicide

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:24pm
  11. Im sorry but im glad he defended himself … We have to many young LGBT youth getting killed by ignorant people … I would have done the same for my son.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:25pm
  12. So the victim gets reprimanded and not the bully/bullies? What a crazy justice system we have, ladies and gentlemen.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:25pm
  13. Violence is Violence. It doesn’t matter if you use words or stun guns. My question is where are the adults here? His parent knew and why did the school allow this issue to escalate to the point where one has to result to violence to protect them self.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:26pm
  14. What the fuck is wrong with school?

    They are sending a message to “not be bullied” as oppose to “don’t bully”

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:27pm
  15. His mom broke the law and he broke school rules. Schools have always been immune from bullying prosecution, lol.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:27pm
  16. I think he should have shot them in the balls

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:27pm
  17. why are the bullies not being reviewed or expelled? What about staff whose mandate is making sure school is a safe learning environment for students? Self defence is now grounds to be expelled and assailants walk away having been given a ‘win’ as a bully?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:27pm
  18. You don’t like it here, go to another school!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:28pm
  19. Soooo…self defense isnt a good enough reason? If they are gay they should let themselves get beat up?

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:28pm
  20. @chuu mong i know it isnt morally right, but sometimes it is the only way to teach the staff and the bullies a lesson

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:29pm
  21. Um…deadly :0

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:29pm
  22. i do see and accept your point, however

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:30pm
  23. He was standing his ground.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:31pm
  24. No kidding Robert! The amount of bullying going on–due to sexuality or otherwise–is insane. Administrators need to crack down on it.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:32pm
  25. Who ever he shot probably deserved it, for pushing someone far enough to shoot them in the face with a stun gun…

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:33pm
  26. i think you should not be expelled i think the school board needs to be fired for there lack of efforts to stop bullying i am also a gay male who is bullied the school board needs to make an effort to stop bullying i am tired of being bullied

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:33pm
  27. Look, EVERYBODY in this “thread” has made a well-argued point. That said, mom giving the kid a stun GUN was NOT a logical solution.

    Do I think the kid should be expelled? Personally, I think the kid deserves to be SUSPENDED for a lengthy time, rather than expelled. The zero tolerance policy regarding weapons in school HAS *very* strong roots FOR JUSTIFIABLE REASONS (Columbine, Paducah, et al.).

    Stun guns CAN kill, too, y’know… just sayin’.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:33pm
  28. Noone in this country should EVER have to dear for their own safety in any learning institution.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:34pm
  29. Welcome to the “great” state of Indiana. I grew up in Indiana and was bullied my entire life, not ONCE did I have ANY faculty members stand up for me. The education system in Indianapolis (specifically) is a monumental fuck up. NO child should EVER have to feel like they would rather DIE than be picked on and made to feel like they should have never been born in the first place. SHAME ON YOU TO EVERYONE THAT IS TRYING TO EXPEL THIS BOY FOR TAKING A STAND AND FOR TRYING TO KEEP HIMSELF SAFE!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:34pm
  30. well said LISA …

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:36pm
  31. I agree, I’m glad he defended himself and I would have done the same for my son too. Across the world there is a never ending epidemic of hate. And for what? I say fight back with every ounce of strength in you honey. You never know how far they might take it. My ex girlfriend and I were jumped by a group of men a few years back, we both ended up in the i.c.u… If it wasn’t for someone seeing it and calling the police, they could have easily beaten us to death. I wish I could have defended us but they were just too big and strong. But believe me, I never leave the house without some kind of protection anymore. I’m prepared every time I step out.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:37pm
  32. You must be one of the bullies of your school then, since you have such a smart ass comment to make about it, Connie

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:39pm
  33. Did the mom break the law? yes. Did the kid break the rules? Probably. But this is what terrorizing people does to thier logic. Its called fear and it is a powerful weapon.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:43pm
  34. What’s possessing America’s school officials to side with bullies?

    To Mong: It was self-defence. Besides, he fired it SKYWARD to scare the bullies away!

    To Deysenroth: Not only are the school officials taking the bullies’ side over Dynasty, they’re him by suspension and an expulsion trial! No wonder our k-12 schools have been compared to prisons these past few years! School officials act like favoritist wardens instead of doing their jobs!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:46pm
  35. Apparently Indiana doesn’t have a “stand your ground” law! Good for him and his mom – I hope they sleep well at night knowing that they are right!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 8:52pm
  36. He probably got expelled for having a stun gun. Not because he was defending himself.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:04pm
  37. more children need to be tazed, and often.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:05pm
  38. Brave kid for having the courage to wake up each day and go to that hell hole. He even had compassion enough for his assailants to merely scare them rather than strike them. Best of luck, Mr. Young and Ms. Grimes.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:14pm
  39. THIS DISGUSTS ME! HE WOULDN’T HAVE HAD 2 BRING AND USE A STUN GUN TO SCHOOL IF SOMETHING WAS BEING DONE ABOUT BULLYING!!!! >:-|

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:18pm
  40. In all Fairness Chuu Mong, the school should have protected him, not told him to stop being who he was.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:19pm
  41. GOOD FOR THIS YOUNG MAN! Don’t sit back and take any bullshit from anybody.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 9:22pm
  42. He could have brought a different kind of gun to school. Like the ones the kids at Columbine used. And Virginia Tech.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:07pm
  43. Zero Tolerance rules don’t do enough when it comes to ‘protecting’ certain victims.

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:08pm
  44. Good for him! I would have used it to!!!

    Posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 10:43pm
  45. Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 12:56am
  46. Society pisses me off.

    Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 3:09am
  47. The school officials are ass for telling him to change who he is. Unfortunately the schools now excuse the bullies by telling the victims to “change” instead of taking care of the problem….from the elementarys through highschools…..because nobody wants to get off of their asses and take care of things. Punish the bullies…..do your jobs and protect the kids.

    Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 4:55am
  48. As he should.

    Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 6:43am
  49. Kids wouldn’t bring weapons to school to defend themselves if the schools provided a safe environment for all students, rather than the select few. They should be spelling the kids he fired it at as well.

    Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 8:04am
  50. Sometimes ya just gotta take matters into your own hands…

    Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 10:28am
  51. Good I’m glad the momma bear protected her baby lol awesome . Shame on the school, bullies , and bullies parents .

    Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 11:04am
  52. As much as i hate the bullying, the stun gun went too far.

    Posted on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 4:10pm