Darnell “Dynasty” Young, the Arsenal Tech High School students who was expelled last May for bringing to school an electronic stun gun his mother gave him, to confront students bullying him because he was gay has filed suit against the Indianapolis Public Schools. Young’s attorneys filed the suit in Federal Court in Indianapolis challenging IPS’ discriminatory treatment and failure to protect Young, an openly gay former student who faced severe and relentless harassment at Tech throughout the 2011-2012 school year. In a statement, Young’s attorneys said that “Dynasty and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, repeatedly reported the harassment to Tech administrators, but the school administrators took no effective measures to protect him, and the abuse continued. Administrators, including Tech Principal Larry Yarrell, responded to the requests for help by blaming Dynasty for being gender non-conforming. In May 2012, Yarrell told the Indianapolis Star: “If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they’re going to say whatever it is that they want to say.””. The lawsuit asserts claims for violations of Federal civil rights law and the U.S. Constitution based on IPS’s deliberate indifference to the harassment and abuse Dynasty experienced and its discriminatory treatment of him based on his gender and sexual orientation. The suit further alleges that IPS punished Dynasty and failed to address the harassment in part due to his failure to comply with Tech officials’ demands that he change his appearance and style of dress, in violation of his rights to freedom of expression and liberty under the First Amendment and the federal Due Process Clause. The suit also challenges IPS’s failure to consider Dynasty’s appeal of his expulsion as required by its own internal procedures and the Constitution. “All students should be able to get an education without fearing for their physical safety, and they should be able to rely on school administrators to protect them when abuse does occur,” said NCLR Senior Staff Attorney Christopher F. Stoll, one of the attorneys representing Dynasty and his mother. “It is outrageous that school officials who were entrusted with their students’ safety and education blamed Dynasty for the abuse he suffered, and eventually expelled him from school, instead of accepting their responsibility to protect him from harm.” The community first heard of the harassment and actions Dynasty Young suffered at Tech during an interview in June on Afternoons with Amos. Click below to read the text of the lawsuit and hear the interview with Dynasty and his mother from June.
Dynasty Young Lawsuit Against IPS Click Arrow To Hear Original Interview with Dynasty and His Mom About Bullying & Harassment at Tech. Runs 50 Minutes ©2012 WTLC/Radio One.