Student Darnell “Dynasty” Young and
his mother, Chelisa Grimes, are suing Indianapolis Public Schools,
alleging administrators failed to stop the anti-gay bullying of
The suit was filed Friday in federal
court in Indianapolis.
Administrators at Arsenal Technical
High School expelled Young in the spring for bringing a stun gun to
school. Young, 17, said he used the stun gun to scare away bullies.
According to a statement released by
the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), which is representing
Young, the student faced “severe and relentless harassment”
throughout the 2011-2012 school year.
“[I]mmediately after beginning
classes at Tech High School, he encountered constant abuse from
students who harassed and threatened him because of his gender
nonconformity and perceived sexual orientation. Students called
Dynasty a 'fag,' spat at him and threw rocks and glass bottles at
Tech Principle Larry Yarrell blamed
Young for instigating the harassment when Young and his mother
“If you wear female apparel, then
kids are kids and they're going to say whatever it is that they want
to say,” Yarrell told the Indianapolis Star.
On April 16, 2012, Young used the stun
gun, which emits a loud noise and a weak electric charge, to defend
himself as six students prepared to attack him. The noise frightened
the students and they fled. The incident led to Young's expulsion.
“It is outrageous that school
officials who were entrusted with their students' safety and
education blamed Dynasty for the abuse he suffered, and eventually
expelled him from school, instead of accepting their responsibility
to protect him from harm,” said NCLR senior staff attorney
Christopher F. Stoll.
“I want to make sure no other student
in the Indianapolis Public Schools ever has to go through the kind of
abuse that I went through,” said
Dynasty. “I am hoping this will get IPS to start treating kids
like me with respect and really do something to protect their