Bullying | Darnell 'Dynasty' Young | Indiana | Indianapolis | News

Gay Indiana High School Student Faces Expulsion for Carrying a Stun Gun to Protect Himself from Bullies


Darnell "Dynasty" Young  (pictured, left, with twin brother Darell), a gay student at Tech High School in Indianapolis, is facing expulsion for carrying a stun gun his mother gave him to protect himself from a group of bullies who threw rocks at him and threatened to beat him up.

Watch the interview with Darnell "Dynasty" Young, AFTER THE JUMP...

TechThe problems started when he moved from Arizona to live with his mother, the Indianapolis Star reports:

When he arrived at the school, his new classmates were more confrontational. His outgoing personality and unique accessories made him stand out from the other students. Even some of the other gay students were unfriendly, he said. The bullying started in October, he said.

"All day I'd be on my guard," he said. "It never got better. It always got worse."

Young broke down in tears when a rumor circulated that he performed sex acts in the bathrooms. He said he thought about committing suicide.

Young says he was taunted every day.

Young and his mother said they told the school about the bullying more than 10 times, but Young said Tech did not formally investigate their complaints except for once when a student who taunted him during class was taken to the dean's office and punished. Grimes said she called the school about students following Young home from the bus stop, but school officials said they could not do anything since the students were not on school property. When she complained other times, they brought up his sexuality. Larry Yarrell, the Tech principal, said school staff were trying to help Young by suggesting that he "tone down" his accessories.

Young's mother, facing no response from the school, gave him a stun gun for protection because she says she feared for his safety and says she would never have given him a real gun or a knife:

The small weapons come in a range of voltages. They do not shoot bullets but give an electric shock that temporarily incapacitates people. Unlike Tasers, they don't have barbs that shoot out of the gun and embed in people's flesh. Instead, the shooter must place the gun on or close to people to shock them. They're not considered deadly under Indiana law, but they are not allowed on school property.

One day, when the bullies threatened him again, he pulled it out and fired it in the air. School officials were then alerted that he had it, and he now faces expulsion.

It is illegal for a minor to carry a stun gun. The question here is, what is a student or parent to do when faced with relentless, and possibly violent anti-gay bullying that the school will do nothing about.

Watch the interview with Darnell "Dynasty" Young, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Go figure. Do nothing to the bullies and punish the victim. Can't wait till a girl gets assaulted. We'll see what they do then...

    Posted by: jakeinlove | May 2, 2012 7:02:23 PM

  2. Exactly. Why are the victims always punished for defending themselves, but nothing ever happens to the bullies? Unbelievable!

    Posted by: Sergio | May 2, 2012 7:14:40 PM

  3. I hope the people who post asking why the victim isn't allowed to defend himself will remember that question when the conversation turns to the second amendment, and firearm ownership. 'Bad' guys will always get weapons, they don't care about laws. Only honest people are penalized for wanting to defend themselves.


    It's tough for a teenager to move across country to a new school, make new friends, etc. Darnell's age group is unfortunately is particularly prone to group think, cliquishness, and ridiculing those who are truly different. This has always been the case. Plus there are regional differences, cultural differences, even silly stuff like accents, that are playing a role here I think. I hope everything works out alright and Darnell moves on to a happy and productive life.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 2, 2012 7:25:47 PM

  4. Oh, HELL NO! Those extra comments by the police should get you a swift lawsuit! They can't tell you that the reason you're being bullied is because you're flamboyant. That is not their damn job! What is wrong with folks?!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | May 2, 2012 7:27:05 PM

  5. It was illegal and would violate any school's nonviolence policy. Give the kid a cameraphone, record, document, repeat. If the camera is broken or is assaulted with rocks/weapons, file a police report.

    Posted by: anonymon | May 2, 2012 7:28:13 PM

  6. Public school is no place for this guy.
    HRC, NOH8 Campaign, Courage Campaign, and Dan Savage's group should get together and fund private school tuition for this kid.

    Posted by: Inside | May 2, 2012 7:29:29 PM

  7. There is a clear failure on the part of the school to prevent bullying ......and a clear failure to educate their students in respect and regard for others.
    there should be resignations by those responsible for discipline, in their failure to prevent bullying.

    Posted by: JackFkTwist | May 2, 2012 7:50:33 PM

  8. Um people he had an illegal stun gun. He deserves to be expelled. Yes the school must address the bullying and it is appalling they didn't but that does not make it ok to give your child a stun gun.

    Posted by: lori paster | May 2, 2012 7:57:13 PM

  9. His mama should have given him a REAL gun.

    Posted by: Attmay | May 2, 2012 8:01:53 PM

  10. Well, in Indiana, and other heavily socially conservative states, this is the mentality. It is not bullying that is the issue, it's gay people. If you were less of a queer, you wouldn't get bullied, Darnell, is essentially what the school board is saying. Which is basically the COMPLETE A OK given to the bullies to harass Dynasty. It's also the mentality behind the Don't Say Gay bills, and behind the paranoia about marriage equality becoming requisite teaching in schools.

    We're in an extremely dangerous time, all. LGBTQ preteens/teens have basically been thrown to the frontlines of a social war created by conservatives against our community. Our youth are dying and being abused, because school systems in this country would rather be silent and do nothing about anti-gay bullying until they are FORCED to acknowledge it, than actually accept the fact there are LGBTQ students in their hallways and that issues surrounding anti-gay bullying and sexuality in general need to be discussed. School systems don't want to do anything, many out of fear because they're worried (tragically, rightfully worried) that there will be a parental revolt. This issue is way, way deeper than just bullying. This is a case of criminal threats and harassment. These teens need to be charged for their behavior towards Darnell. And the parents of these bullies need to be castigated for not stepping in and getting a hold of their out-of-control children, any means possible.

    Darnell bringing a stun-gun to school was illegal, but he and his mother should never have been put in such a desperate set of circumstances. The school board has failed Darnell and if I were Ms. Grimes, I would look into suing the school board. Darnell ultimately is being made to look like the bad guy when that isn't the case.

    Posted by: Francis | May 2, 2012 8:23:27 PM

  11. @ Lori Paster: F. U.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | May 2, 2012 8:33:16 PM

  12. No weapons in school. End of discussion. On to the next topic.

    Posted by: Jazzy | May 2, 2012 8:55:09 PM

  13. There is a clear failure on the part of the school to prevent bullying. However a student bringing a weapon to school cannot be tolerated. This school sounds like many a school in Urban America where there is probably little in the way of quality education taking place.

    Posted by: jack | May 2, 2012 9:55:38 PM

  14. His brother is the red shirt is hot!

    But, anyone that brings a weapon to a school should be punished under the law. The law only works if its equally applied to everyone.

    Also maybe he could tone down the diva a bit at school? I get a feeling that he could be a real pain to deal with. Does he need to wear a womens handbag and a big ladies ring to school? I wanna wear black nail polish and tshits to work but I cant do that in a corporate environment. Part of growing up is that you learn to tone it down.

    As for the mother, she should move the family to another school district. Not worth risking another teenager being in danger of committing suicide. A change of scenery can make a big difference.

    Posted by: Alex | May 2, 2012 10:13:06 PM

  15. Side note, just saw the "Dynasty" bit which reminded of this classic post from overheardinnewyork:

    "Angry woman to friend: I have a contention with the way people pronounce my daughter's name. I did not name my daughter 'Lady Nasty'! I named my baby girl 'La Dynasty.'"

    Posted by: Alex | May 2, 2012 10:21:48 PM

  16. Are those little canisters of mace some women have attached to their keychains prohibited? I suppose they are. Hairspray, too, I'd bet. There's got to be a pepper spray that isn't. A stun gun can kill someone if it caused an arrhythmia. His expulsion is warranted unfortunately.

    Posted by: MarkUs | May 2, 2012 11:13:19 PM

  17. Such a school is not worth attending if the school administrators are not willing to guarantee his health and security. It's sad about the expulsion but his mother as an adult is the one who should have known better than to send him to school with ANY weapon.

    Posted by: RJ | May 2, 2012 11:32:16 PM

  18. I understand that what he did was wrong, but the people who are saying that everything is his fault just because he brought a "weapon" to school need to get it together. Did you all miss the part where he said that they throw rocks at him? A ROCK IS VERY CAPABLE OF DOING BODILY HARM. What do you do then when you repeatedly ask the school board for help, and they essentially do nothing. If little assh*les were flinging rocks at me, I'd do more than just stun their little hateful selves.

    Also to the guy who is essentially blaming him for not toning it down, F.U.. That is the mentality that perpetuates this type of sh*t. Rather than blame the perpetrators you blame the victim. It's exactly like blaming a women who gets sexually assaulted because "her skirt was too short." Should she have to wear long ankle skirts for the rest of her life so that men don't sexually harass her? Him deciding to wear a jeweled ring and a clutch to school should never excuse anyone for going out of their way to harm someone. It's deplorable that people could have that rationale, and that others actually agree with it.

    Posted by: Ramon P. | May 3, 2012 12:12:19 AM

  19. Where's the email to contact this bullsh**t school board?

    Posted by: Bans Gender | May 3, 2012 12:37:14 AM

  20. Wheres the NRA and Republicans on this?!!!!

    YOU KNOW WHY THEYRE SILENT- because he's gay. Because deep down- and I know- cuz I live around them- these right wingers -theyd rather see us dead. We don't deserve guns or knives or stun guns or heaven forbid -laws! to protect ourselves.

    Hey GOProud!!! Do what you're supposed to do!! This is a Second Amendment AND a gay rights issue---- are you gonna pick up the ball and get on this school's and this local gov.'s asses about their condoning on violence????

    Freakin unbelievable. AND the cop who said that he's "too flamboyant" needs a new job. Something where he's not entrusted to look after people's lives.

    Good for you Darnell!!! That was incredibly brave- and hopefully, your bullies will learn never to mess with you- or any gay kid- again.

    Posted by: scott | May 3, 2012 12:53:00 AM

  21. I don't know if he's under-aged so I'll refrain from saying anything too sexual, but the one in the red shirt (the brother?) is GORGEOUS!

    Posted by: Jase | May 3, 2012 12:57:56 AM

  22. To the ones saying the one in the red shirt is gorgeous... they're twins, they look the same!

    Posted by: River | May 3, 2012 4:44:11 AM

  23. @Alex Yes, corporate environments require conformity in dress and appearance, but I don't think that teaching Darnell NOT to be who he is is an appropriate life lesson. If Darnell wants to express himself, (the school he attended does not require uniforms), who is harmed by that?

    The lesson everyone in the school needs to be taught is that we live in a diverse world, and every person deserves to be respected, encouraged to live as their true self, and that they have the right to be their true self without fear. Until we start doing that, we will see more bullying, gay-bashing, and victims being punished, as others here have pointed out, for daring to defend themselves because the adults turn a blind eye towards their suffering. Shame on the principal--an alleged adult--for blaming Darnell for getting beaten up!

    Posted by: Nathan James | May 3, 2012 7:47:23 AM

  24. Illegal weapon though it may be, This is a family that "thought outside the box". With the alternative being that the entrenched bully culture goes unchallenged, I back this family's choices in this matter.

    Posted by: ROBERT BAKER | May 3, 2012 7:53:11 AM

  25. I dunno something about the line "His outgoing personality and unique accessories... even some of the other gay students were unfriendly..." made my spidey senses tingle. Could be that he was a victim of predjuce or could be that he is a drama diva nightmare who thinks hes Beyonce. There is a difference between being yourself and being a huge pain to deal with.

    Posted by: Alex | May 3, 2012 8:38:46 AM

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