Months ago, we reported on Darnell “Dynasty” Young, an openly gay Indianapolis teenager who was expelled after firing a stun gun at school to scare away his bullies. Now, Young is suing the school district for neglecting to stop the “relentless, severe harassment” he experienced from his fellow students.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in the US District Court of Indianapolis on behalf of 17-year-old Young, claiming that teachers and other officials at the Arsenal Technical High School continuously ignored his pleas for help and allegations of ongoing abuse suffered at the hands of his peers:
“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 dressed with accessories and clothing from his mother’s wardrobe including knee-high boots, purses, rings, and bangles, all of which were permitted under the school’s dress code, according to the lawsuit. Young says that his fellow students berated him, spit on him, called him derogatory names, and threw rocks and empty bottles at him, all for his “flamboyant” behavior.
It was Young’s mother, Chelisa Grimes, who furnished him with the stun gun because she feared for his life.
He was reportedly accosted in mid-April by a group of six male students. Young fired the stun gun into the air, not hitting any of the bullies but scaring them off. He was escorted out of his next class by a security official who apparently remarked, “If you did not dress like this, people would not mess with you,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and a reversal of Young’s expulsion.
“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. I am hoping this will get IPS to start treating kids like me with respect and really do something to protect their students,” said Young of the suit.