Darnell Dynasty Young: Expulsion Of Bullied Gay Teen, Indianapolis Public Schools’ decision to expel a 17-year-old Tech High School student who brought a stun gun to school to scare away bullies has raised questions about whether the district takes bullying seriously.
Local and national groups are criticizing the way the school handled the situation, and some of the teen’s local supporters are organizing a rally before the IPS Board’s meeting Tuesday to raise awareness about bullying.
Darnell “Dynasty” Young, who is openly gay, was suspended pending expulsion April 16 after he brought a stun gun to school, raised it in the air and fired it to frighten six students who had surrounded him during a passing period.
His mother, Chelisa Grimes, said she gave him the stun gun for protection from students who repeatedly called him names and threatened to beat him up. Grimes said she and her son complained to the school staff about the bullying several times throughout the school year, but staff members told them Young called attention to himself because he liked to accessorize his outfits with Grimes’ jewelry and purses.
The family learned late Monday that Young has been expelled until Jan. 7. That means he won’t be able to finish his junior year and will miss the first semester of his senior year.
“I couldn’t believe that they did it,” Grimes said. “They really kicked him out.”
Grimes and Young can appeal his expulsion to the IPS Board and the courts if necessary, but Grimes said they’re still weighing their options. They could try to enroll him at a charter school or private school, but it’s not likely that would have much success because of the expulsion. Young said he wants to get his general educational development certificate and go to college.
The IPS decision angered not only the family, but also groups that support gay teens in Indianapolis and across the country.
Mary Byrne, executive director of the Indiana Youth Group, which provides programs and support for gay teens, called the decision “the latest example of the school administration’s failure to take the problem of bullying seriously.”