After months of harassment, an Indianapolis mother says she had no choice but to send her gay 17-year-old son Darnell “Dynasty” Young to school with a stun gun to defend himself. Now Darnell is facing possible expulsion for discharging the weapon at school.
“I do not promote violence – not at all – but what is a parent to do when she has done everything that she felt she was supposed to do … at the school?” Chelisa Grimes told CNN. “I did feel like there was nothing else left for me to do, but protect my child.
“I think that the self-protection device is what’s making the news, but the big picture is that my child is not the only one who does not feel safe at our school.”
On April 16, Darnell says six students surrounded him at Arsenal Technical High school, calling him names and threatening to beat him up. He then pulled the stun gun from his backpack and raised it in the air which set off an electric charge and sent the group of bullies running. CNN points out that unlike a Taser, which fires barbs attached to long wires at a target, a stun gun has to be near or pressed against a person to shock them. No one was harmed in this incident, but according to the Indianapolis Star, school police officers arrested Darnell a short time after he pulled out the weapon and took him away in handcuffs.
“I got kicked out of school for me bringing the weapon to school, but I honestly don’t think that that was fair,” Darnell said. “I didn’t use it on nobody. … All I did was raise it up in the air and went back to my class.”
Though Darnell and his family say the school hasn’t done much to stop the harassment, Larry Yarrell, the Tech principal, said school staff had been trying to get the teen to “tone down” his accessories.
“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 Star. “Because you want to be different and because you choose to wear female apparel, it may happen. In the idealistic society, it shouldn’t matter. People should be able to wear what they want to wear.”
For Darnell, the clothing taunts weren’t the worst of the bullying, it was rumors that suggested he was “doing nasty stuff” with teachers.
“I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know what to do and I thought about suicide,” he said. “I hate saying that word because God blessed me with this life. I love life. I love my education. I would never … but this bullying got so bad that I thought about that.”
Last week the school district held an expulsion hearing for Darnell but a decision has yet to be announced.
Do you think Darnell should be expelled for bringing the stun gun to school?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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