Very sad news to report from Indianapolis. Openly gay 17-year-old Darnell Young—seen at left with his twin brother Darell—has been expelled from Arsenal Tech High School after carrying a stun gun to scare away bullies, reports The Indianapolis Star.
Darnell "Dynasty" Young and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, found out late Monday that an independent arbitrator who presided over an expulsion hearing last Wednesday decided to expel him until Jan. 7, 2013. He cannot finish his junior year and he 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 to the Indianapolis Public Schools school board and the courts if necessary, but Grimes said they're still weighing their options. Young said he plans to get his GED and go to college. ...
Young said he has been overwhelmed by the support he has received. Some of his supporters in Indianapolis are planning a rally before an IPS school board meeting May 15 to raise awareness about Young's case and to pressure the school board to take more steps to prevent bullying.
Young had been suspended since April 16. The openly gay student says classmates have relentlessly bullied him ever since he arrived in October from Arizona—taunting him, calling him names, following him home and even throwing rocks at him. Young eventually fired a stun gun into the air to scare off a group of six kids who used gay slurs and threatened to attack him on campus.
The stun gun was given to him by his mother, who says school authorities were not helpful and told Darnell to "tone down" his accessories and mannerisms. But she said she doesn’t regret her choice. "I’ll never regret protecting my child," Grimes told The Star last week.
Indianapolis Public School Board member Samantha Adair-White has called for an independent investigation into the case. But she said last week she's not sure if enough school board members will support her request.
Young and his mother said they told the school about the bullying "more than 10 times"—but the school only formally investigated one complaint. In addition to suggesting that Darnell should "tone down" his image. So much for a "zero tolerance" of bullying.