Bullied Gay Teen Facing Expulsion After Mother Sent Him To School With Stun Gun

May 8, 2012  |  

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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  • Olivia Wall

    The boy absolutely had a right to bring a stun gun to school. The school violated the social contract: students trade in their right to bear arms for safety ensured by the school. The school didn’t provide him safety; he was fearing for his life! He had the right to take the matter into his own hands. The school, by not preventing the bullying, endangered the bullies as well, what if the boy had aimed the taser at the bullies and not in the air? 

  • Amija James

    People call gays minorities when in reality gay white men have more power than black men.  

    • Nehemiah53

      They always have gay or straight!

    • Nehemiah53

      I don’t think that is a question white men gay or straight always had more power than black men!

      • Amija James

        Ummmmm, that’s what I said.  Some people don’t know that.

    • Nehemiah53

      I don’t think that is a question white men gay or straight always had more power than black men!

  • StopBullying

    It wouldn’t matter if he was gay or straight in my opinion. If my son was going to school , being bullied, and no one was doing anything about it after countless efforts, I would have my son protect himself as well. Children are being bullied to the point of suicide everywhere. I recently saw the preview of the new documentary “Bully” and it broke my heart to see what that young boy was going through, even after the mother told school officials. The bottom line is, bullying is very serious and everyone has the right to protect themselves from it.

  • jackieOsassin

    i would only think he would have to be expelled if he were bringing it to school before exhausting all efforts to try and get the bullies from pestering him. he was going to use it for protection, if NECESSARY. the mother already saw the security wasn’t doing much, so why not? plus, it’s a STUN GUN, not a gun. he wasn’t trying to kill them, just shock the ever-loving sh*t out of them.

  • This is a sad world we live in where people are afraid for their lives and can’t be themselves. Whether people think it’s a choice or born that way. Doesn’t mean people need to feel unsafe for being who they are. While I don’t agree with bringing a stun gun to school. He had to do what he had to do. And I don’t blame him one bit. Maybe now this is a blessing in disguise and he can go to another school where he feels safer.

  • Jnxcat

    the ones making the law, steady breaking the law!

  • Jnxcat

    last time i checked in the maternity ward there were boys and girls, not boys and girls and gays…no one is BORN that way…someone said that long ago and people have been drinking the kool aid ever since! he CHOSE to wear that mess…and i bet he has a SLICK MOUTH too…what gay u dont know always have some mess to spit?

    • gays can be boys or girls…. there isn’t a third… Even if he chose to wear that outfit, his life shouldn’t be threatened by 6 people. smh

  • Jnxcat

    if u are out and about and queer and youre here! then yay for you! i am glad that u have confidence, yada, yada, yada…but dressing like a female, you KNOW ur going to attract attention that is not positive! also, the mother says she did this and that…*in my Whitney voice* i wanna see the receipts! this is just a mess all around, this kid needs to go to alternative school since he wants to live an alternative lifestyle or just go to night school or jr college, he seem like the type that is too cool for school anyway! just ratchet!

  • Gays with there money over the last three years have pull off a public relation coup and now have the grip and are demanding and getting special consideration that heterosexual can’t and will never get.

  • God please help protect this young man.  Its so sad that this world we live in is so mean. Let him live his life!

  • I wish people would stop making an issue about how “flamboyant” he is. The point is that he should not be bullied. Kids are getting meaner and nastier these days. The adults in their lives probably are not any better. 

  • Pingback: Gay Teen Bullied Gets Expelled After Bringing Stun Gun To School - News People Need()

  • ChristinaItsruff Beingadiamond

    I just really don’t like people saying that he wears female clothes for attn when clearly he is stuck in the wrong body! I also hate how ppl try to make folks suppress the mess. He is what he is and whatever will be will be! How would some of you feel if he tricked your daughters into what you all thought was a heterosexual relationship just to knock her up and leave her for his bf John Doe? I’m not the one for cross dressing because I feel no matter what sex you were born that’s how you should dress but non the less it shouldn’t cause me or anybody else stress if he does the mess! (Praying Hands) for this young man this brought tears to my eyes folks in the world have no compassion for those who are born different!

  • Jess

    It doesn’t matter what the boy had on, a person should be able to express themselves and wear whatever that want with out worrying about being harassed by some idiotic kids, point blank. It’s sad that this woman was forced to arm her child in order to protect him because the school wouldn’t.

  • You_There

    Who cares about his boots, he should be allowed to get an education just like everybody else, no matter if he’s gay or not. I don’t condone what his mom did for making him go to school with a stun gun but at least she’s supporting her son because most parents in the black community will disown their gay child. The black community needs to grow up and stop putting a stigma towards the LGBT community.

  • L-Boogie

    It is not right how they are treating him.  But you cannot bring a taser to school. 

  • Amija James

    Ummmm, those boots are killing me!  

    • Mls2698

      Right? I mentioned them, and now everybody thinks he wore them to school. I said “IF” he wore them, it would be a problem.

  • Nina DaShotta

    I wouldn’t have sent him to school with a weapon. But I would have been at the principals or superintendents doors bright and early to demand help. Because if he stuns his tauntors and one dies because of the shock, then he will not only have expulsion, but second degree murder. There WERE other ways ma’am..

  • Fay

    A taser is still a weapon.  What if he used the taser on a kid who had a heart condition and killed him?  Things happen.  I feel the mom’s frustration, but that’s not a solution.  

     I hate the gay bullying but also high school is tough.  Period. Did you see his ring and his bag?  Now if you wear that kind of stuff to high school, you will be teased and made fun of.  If I was his mom, I’d find an alternative school for him or have him do online studies.

      I have a very close gay friend who I met in college, would just be himself in class and on campus, but if we were going to a party or something, out came Miss Honey!  He could do makeup and hair and liked to wear some women’s clothing, but he wouldn’t wear it to class.  


    If it’s not ok for a straight kid, an obese kid, a kid with disabilities, etc to bring a weapon to school because of bullies, then it’s not ok for a gay kid either. With that being said the school needs to start being stricter on bullying, and parents need to teach their kids right from wrong, and how to be respectful to others.

  • Rah Truth

    I think it’s odd how, if you’re gay, you are automatically seen as innocent when other people say or do something to you. Was there really NO other factor involved? It had absolutely nothing to do with the women’s clothing the boy wears…FOR attention? Also, I need to know whether or not the boy called names and did his own dirt as well. Bullying is always wrong. But, the mother is acting like there was nothing else she could do but send him to school with a weapon in the waistband of his patent leather pants. *side eye* Students cannot bring weapons to school no matter what. If they do, they will be expelled. If not, every student who feels threatened will start bringing weapons. The mother could have gotten the school detectives involved if she felt it was that serious. Clearly, she felt this was a situation her son could handle on his own, with a stun gun. NOW…she has to deal with the transfer paperwork.


      Hmm..interesting points.

    •  Well written.  I think the school wasn’t as much as no help at all, but it would have to be the parents who would have to meet the school half way.  I think we’re missing the fact that this ordeal happens often with young ladies trying to get into the school buildings wearing damn near nothing to school during summer weather and are verbally harassed by young men.  As an Academic Tutor, I repeat to young people about situations as such; if you aren’t seeking this so-called unwanted attention ask yourself what are you doing to prevent it.  Parents really should think considerably hard on what resources they provide for their babies when in a tough situation.  Unfortunately this young man in particular has learned the wrong way in my opinion, to handle a difficult situation.  Life for him doesn’t seem like it’ll be any less complicated with the advise he’s given from his mother.

    • Mls2698

      I think before I would give him a weapon that gets him kicked out or school, I would take him out of school, maybe even home school. Either way he is out, so how did the weapon help? He has to know that even in the adult world, a man coming to work in leather thigh highs is still going to be a problem. Yes, bullying is still wrong.

  • Purpletorontodog

    And where are people getting that he wore thigh high boots? He wore his mom’s jewelry & purse. Maybe i’m blind but nowhere did i read in this article & thenot Indianapolis Star hat he wore thigh high boots.

    • Purpletorontodog

      He wore his mom’s jewelry & purse to school, not thigh high boots as in the picture

  • Msnaimah1985

    I feel the mother was dead wrong for arming her son and sending him to school. If you take steps to stop your child from being bullying unfortunately he or she may have to change schools. It is never okay to give your child a taser and send him to school with the intent to taser others. Had the child went out and got the taser on his own we would be dealing with a different situation but as parents we direct our children to the best things……and unfortunately a boy wearing thigh high boots, make up and bringing a taser to school is the wrong thing. Gay doesn’t equal cross dressing.

    • Purpletorontodog

      She didn’t send him to school with a taser. She sent him to school with a stun gun that he fired in the air. It doesn’t make it right either way, but he felt unsafe. The school did nothing but blame him for causing the bullying so i understand why he had that weapon.

  • Purpletorontodog

    He was expelled last night (Indianapolis Star)

  • RedButterfly81

    In my opinion, schools ain’t doing anything to protect their students from bullies so what’s a parent to do? It ain’t like she sent him to school with a real gun. He should be coming to school as he is and no one has the right to torment him just because he’s gay. I went to high school with transgendered people and they were cool. Nobody shouldn’t be denied of an education just because they’re gay. I think the black community need to stop being so harsh towards the LGBT community, if they choose to be gay, let them!


      What if this kid was straight and bullied, would it still be ok for his mom to send him to school with a weapon then?

      • RedButterfly81

        Yeah, just as long as it’s not a gun with bullets.

  • Rastaman

    What is the relationship between being gay and wearing thigh high boots?
    This mother sent her child to school dressed in a manner seeking attention and when he got the wrong type of attention her solution is to then arm him instead of pointing out that may be it is better to tone it down.    I am sure no one advocates bullying but parents do need to be cognizant of the fact that certain types of behavior will draw undue focus from the wrong people.  Sometimes as adults we need to be smart for our children instead of encouraging the wrong behavior. 

    There are probably other gay kids in that school who did not feel the need to sport thigh high boots and not wearing them is no prohibition on their sexuality. 

    • Purpletorontodog

      So do you blame the woman getting raped because she is wearing a short skirt? Why are we blaming the victim? He should be able to go to school & not be bullied no matter how he’s dressed.

      • Glittermagic86

        well, most women who are raped aren’t raped because a man said she was dressed like a slut.  anyway, a woman in a short dress walking down a dark alley is definitely inviting danger in though.  

    • You sound like the guy who blamed Trayvon for wearing a hoodie, as to why he was murdered.

  • F3ral Anarchy

    Im not saying in any way shape or form is it ok to bully.  With that being said does this child not understand how he dresses will bring comments?  After getting teased before this incident did it not hit home that the teasing would happen?  

  • Mls2698

    You can’t bring a weapon to school. Period. Now……those thigh high boots…………I want to say that I can be pretty sure they have a really high heel, and if he wears that to school along with other accessories, there is sure to be teasing. But I’m not saying its okay because people should just mind their own business. All schools should have uniforms;In some cases, it will save a student from themselves. And kids are ALWAYS going to talk.

    • activist1

      They weren’t just talking they were threatening him. Don’t bring a weapon to school ever sure but it is the school’s responsibility to ensure the safety of ALL the students. He could have worn a uniform and he would still be harrassed because he is gay. Some are refusing to see the big picture here. If his mother tried working with the school to keep her son safe and they did nothing what do you expect them to do. Wrong is wrong and I personally feel the school was wrong. This incident was led up to by a series of events and lack of action. When i was in school I was made fun if because I’m black. But kids will be kids right???

  • activist1

    It does not matter how the boy dresses. Kids will be kids yes but adults must be adults and step in and add correction to the kids. They put him and his mother in the position of having to bring the taser to school to protect himself because they did not. He is being victimized twice, the school is in the wrong here.

    • What if it was a heterosexual boy carrying a weapon to school to protect him self would you be willing to afford him the same consideration? Rules are rules and are meant for all to follow!

      • Ladykat5891

        I completely agree with Activist1 and I would feel the same if it were a heterosexual kid. The issue I have is that the school blames the student for feeling threatened and take no action against the ones making him feel unsafe. It seems to me that the school is paying too much attention to his sexuality and style of dress and not enough to his safety. The weapon was wrong, but more should be done to protect him and his right to live and dress as he chooses. Is this not America?!

        • I agree with you to a point the media and his mother is the one playing on the student sexuality the fact is that this type of thing go on every day in America schools with heterosexual black male and no one is willing to give them any consideration matter of fact some of you with so much nderstanding in this case are the one who will call a heterosexual black male who bring a weapon to school to protect himself a thug or bully and say he ought to be kick out of school and put in jail! Now do you see the double

    • Why I never hear that same understanding for heterosexual black males who got caught with a weapon in school for his own protection in the same situation? You same people
      almost always say lock him up and throw away the key because he has no business with a weapon in school do you see the double standard and hypocrisy here and WHY!

    • Ladykat5891

      I can only speak for myself, when I say that I have never looked to a victim of bullying for an explanation for their methods of protecting themselves – especially not when it comes to children. Instead I look to the people in charge who have obviously failed at protecting that child. Had the bullies been disciplined accordingly this boy would have never felt the need to go this far. I completely understand that kids get picked on everyday but no child should ever feel that their life is not worth living because of bullying. no child should fear going to school or being happy in their skin because the torment has gone from name calling to out right threats. Bringing a weapon to school is wrong and this kid should be punished for it but the school should also recognize where they feel short and make sure that no other student ever feels that a weapon is their only option.

      • Nehemiah53

        I agree, well stated!