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Gay Teen Suing School District For Failing To Protect Him From Bullying

Darnell “Dynasty” Young, the openly gay teen suspended from Arsenal Technical High School for brandishing a stun gun in self-defense from a group of bullies, and his mother Chelisa Grimes are suing Indianapolis Public Schools for doing nothing to stop the “relentless, severe harassment” he faced.

According to the suit, Dynasty was both verbally and physically abused by classmates who spat at and threw rocks and bottles  at him, though the administrators blamed the 17-year-old for inciting the abuse. Dynasty would often carry his mother’s purses and wear her jewelry to school.

“Rather than take effective measures to protect him,” the suit alleges, “school staff told him that he was to blame for the harassment because of his appearance and told him to change his dress and behavior to conform to stereotypical ideas of masculinity and to be less ‘flamboyant.’”

Young, Grimes and their attorney — Christopher F. Stoll from the National Center for Lesbian Rights — claim that the district violated Dynasty’s civil rights and the U.S. Constitution after discriminating against him based on his sexual orientation and trying to get him to change the way he dressed, a basic First Amendment freedom of expression issue.

Dynasty was initially expelled until January for carrying the weapon, given to him by his mother over fears he would be hurt, but in August the district reduced his penalty so that he could start school in the fall. IPS dictated, however, that Young would have to attend a different school. Dynasty declined this invitation and is finishing up his senior year at Indianapolis Metropolis High School.

“The harassment and abuse I went through at Tech was horrible,” Dynasty said in a statement Friday. “I want to make sure that no other student in the Indianapolis Public Schools ever has to go through that. I hope this lawsuit will get IPS to change the way it deals with kids who are being harassed. Schools should protect students like me instead of telling them to change who they are.”

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Sep 4, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,

  • 33 Comments
    • brent
      brent

      This is without a doubt the fault of the deomcratic party. Kids who don’t fit in with a particular school should be given vouchers to go to a more tolerant school. But no the poor kid can’t do that because the democrats are opposed to school choice. They only care about their public unions and collecting dues from teachers to fund their party. Gay democrats often lecture gay republicans about how they need to stand up to republicans on gay rights. Well it’s time for gay republicans to lecture gay democrats about standing up for the rights of kids who are victims of the public employee unions.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 10:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @brent: This is funny since school transfers and the post-secondary option first gained ground under CLINTON. Yes, CLINTON, a known DEMOCRAT. You really need to stop making up facts, it makes you look bad.

      Also, I would have more sympathy for this kid if the lawsuit demanded a full policy change for the IPS. However, my guess is going to be that this gets settled out of court for millions of taxpayer dollars. The school was absolutely at fault, but the community of Indianapolis should not have to pay for that.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 10:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ChiChi Man
      ChiChi Man

      This is great news. At first, I was disturbed by a child brandishing weapons in school, but kids like Darnell are literally fighting for their lives with no protection. I’m thrilled that instead of countering violence with violence, Darnell has taken a more effective way of handling this violent harassment. I’m also glad that he turned down the school district’s demand that he attend a different school. Darnell should not have to transfer to another school The school should create a safe environment and protect him and others like him.

      Finally, the “why is the kid suing for damages” argument is a bit naive. Brown vs. Board of Education took 3 years to reach the Supreme Court and was a result of a large class action suit. As much as I love a good fairy tale, a poor kid being raised by a single mother does not have the time and resources for such a feat. He needs the support of the action groups and brilliant pro bono attorneys – and again a lot of time. A case involving damages is not as noble, but can force a quick settlement and possible narrow policy changes. I don’t understand any sympathy for taxpayers who have to pay for the settlement. Had the taxpayers in Indianapolis voted for reps who supported and enforced anti-bullying initiatives, they wouldn’t have to pay a dime.

      P.S. Anyone who’s been watching The Newsroom will tell you that Brent is a troll who’s sole purpose is to piss off posters and distract us from important discussions with his (or her) nonsense. I refuse to acknowledge this troll any further on this thread.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @brent: said…


      This is without a doubt the fault of the deomcratic party. Kids who don’t fit in with a particular school should be given vouchers to go to a more tolerant school. But no the poor kid can’t do that because the democrats are opposed to school choice.”
      _______________________________
      This is the problem with you Log Cabin Trolls, you are so desperate to try to attack the Democrats about ANYTHING, that you don’t even bother to read the entire story…well, either that or you did read it and are lying.

      Either way, you seem to have missed the following part.

      IPS dictated, however, that Young would have to attend a different school. Dynasty declined this invitation and is finishing up his senior year at Indianapolis Metropolis High School.”

      So….they TRIED to make him go to a different school and he refused saying nobody should have to suffer what he went through.

      So you have taken a story about a young kid, harassed and bullied who is bravely trying to force changes at his school rather than leaving and going to another one, and all you got from it was that you could try to use it to lie and attack Democrats.

      Shame on you. Log Cabin has gotten to the point where you are actually anti-gay.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @tdx3fan: It is true that Clinton tried to expand public school choice. But that i believe is the key…public school choice. Meaning that you could only go to another probably failing public school. You would not have the option of going to the private school Clinton sent his daughter to. The only effective way to get schools to change is the threat that they could lose there funds to private schools. When that day happens they will suddenly grow very gay friendly.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 11:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @Cam: No i read it, my understanding may be different than yours. What they were trying to do in my opinion is transfer him from one hellhole public school to another hellhole public school. That is not choice, since almost any public school in this country has the same problem with homophobia. The only way to force public schools to change is to threaten they’re funding when that happens they will change and quickly. I give him credit for sticking it out, but i also think he was wise enough to know they were just sending him to another hellhole.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 11:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rand503
      rand503

      It’s great that he’s suing. Win or lose, he makes a point. The school has to spend a tremendous amount of money defending itself. You get to depose teachers and administrators, which takes a lot of time on their part and is very stressful for them. The truth comes out in any case.

      It’s something that they don’t ever want to go through ever again, and so they will probably settle and put in place procedures for dealing with bullying of gay kids. Of course, it might take two or three more lawsuits for them to really get the message, but they will eventually.

      Bravo! Darnell!

      Sep 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @brent:

      But again, you take a story about a gay kid being harassed who is fighting back, and create an issue from which to attack Democrats.

      Nice attempt to deflect, but it really shows your concern has nothing to do with the kid or the community.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 1:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @Cam: Of course if i were a democrat who took the opportunity to vent on republicans you would correct me. You accuse me of not caring, but i offer what i believe to be a solution. To repeat threaten the funding of the public schools and you will start to notice an improvement. Now you can disagree with my solution, but you should have one of you’re own. I went back and looked at you’re posts on this subject and i do not see you’re solution. What i see is you don’t like my motives.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @rand503: Yes that is my point as well. Threaten there source of funding and they will change. Now if only CAM understood that.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 1:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      Gay kids are smarter than straight kids. We should be allowed to leave school at about age 11, and read in the library for the next 7 years while the straight kids conduct their pointless little sadistic social club, without being able to torture us.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @the other Greg: How about that i can finally agree with the other greg. Are you really the other greg or his better natured twin.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric Auerbach
      Eric Auerbach

      @the other Greg: Isn’t learning to deal with other people part of the point of going to school? This kid clearly hasn’t learned how to do that, though–he wanted the school administration to fight his fights for him, and got mad at them when they pointed out that if you desperately seek attention, you’ll get it, even if it’s the unwanted kind.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nwilsontaylor
      nwilsontaylor

      Gay kids are smarter than straight kids Ohhahahahahahahahahahahahahlollollololhahahaha. I’m falling down laughing. You people are so out of it that it’s …laughable. hahahahahahahahaha. See how intelligent purse toting, jewelry wearing Dynasty is? No wait…maybe he did it on purpose so he can get lots of money from the school system/government. Just one more example of how homosexuals demand the respect they never give other people.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      something smells fishy about this……carry purse to school……get bullied…..collect money…..so simple….

      Sep 4, 2012 at 6:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @ChiChi Man: So, this kid was raised on welfare, and now he and his mother will most likely never have to work again because of the millions that he will get from the school district. I’m finding it very, very hard to find any sympathy for his situation. Maybe, his mother should not have had him if she could not afford to raise him and this is the great kind of positive young man he is turning into.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @brent: There is nothing wrong with public schools. There are MANY successful public schools that provide a better education than many private schools do (unless you think the Catholic version of science class is a good thing). The only reason people such as yourself want a full voucher program is because you want public schools to fail because once they do you no longer have to educate minorities. Educating minorities annoys you and you would love to not see it happen.

      The problem with private schools is that they can CHOOSE who they want to educate. Public schools do not get that luxury.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 8:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • deadnotstupid
      deadnotstupid

      Actually the interesting thought I took from Brent’s comment was more the idea of transferring to a more tolerant school. I assume that such a school would also be nearby so as to be accessible to the boy in this story. Why are two schools near one another, should such a situation exist, be so wildly differing in tolerance? All other things being equal surely he could expect to find similar attitudes after the transfer? If this is not the case what is so amazing about this more tolerant school that allows it to be thus?

      Surely the point we should take from this situation is that the schools should be studied to understand and learn how to make changes to the wider school system so that all student can benefit from a more inclusive experience in school and so stand a better chance to succeed in this conducive environment?

      Transferring has not tackled the cause of the problem, it is merely a sticking plaster that deals quickly with a ‘symptom’ of a more deep-seated problem in the system.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      Just wanted to point out that Dynasty is NOT going to the school where he was harassed. That school was Arsenal Technical High School. The school district offered to let him return to classes, but at another public high school in the area. Instead, Dynasty is finishing at Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, which is a charter school.

      Also, shame on you who say Dynasty brought this on himself by being/dressing feminine. If you are implying that anytime we deviate from the norm we deserve to be bashed – honestly, you disgust me. As a survivor of a gay-bashing that hospitalized me, simply because I left the wrong bar at the wrong time, I can tell you that it’s a fine line to start drawing about what type of behavior is “okay” and what behavior deserves a beat-down. I suppose also that girls who dress provocatively deserve to be raped?

      Sep 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @deadnotstupid: He suggested a private school. There are multiple problems with his suggestion. I do not believe that a religious school is going to be any more tolerant. I do not believe that a traditional private school is going to be more tolerant either. I’m relatively certain that neither of these schools would even allow this kid to enter their building.

      Sep 4, 2012 at 9:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @tdx3fan: Why would i not want to educate poor black kids. If they don’t have an education then they become a menace to society. If theydon’t have a good education then they turn to crime and that costs all of us, me included. Do you think i would rather pay for more prisons? No, the problem is that public schools are not educating minorities. I’m sure you’re right there are good public schools, then why would the public schools have a problem with competition?

      Sep 5, 2012 at 12:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Guillermo3
      Guillermo3

      @brent: brent,I have to ask:
      Are you talking about Democrats and public service employees
      in Indiana?or nationally?,or generally?
      I live in Philadelphia,for better,or worse,an overwhelmingly
      Democratic[excuse me,but I refuse to use the "illiteracy"
      Democrat]city.I can tell you that school choice is encouraged
      here,that charter schools abound,and that we have had
      legislated civil rights protections for 30 years,which are
      being continually increased.
      Perhaps you would do well,brent,not to make blanket statements
      about political parties,whole groups of occupations,classes of
      people,etc.If you insist on asserting Republican virtues with
      respect to gay rights,I have a few words for you:the list
      includes,but is not completed with the words Santorum,Perry,Palin,
      and Bachman.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      @Guillermo3: Perhaps i generalized too much. I know some schools have freedom of choice. I bet that in philadelphia you had to fight hard for that choice and fight harder to keep it. We have some freedom of choice in my city of jacksonville, florida and believe me it is a struggle to keep it. As for the person who said private schools might not be better for gay kids. True but he has the ability to leave. They know it so it is more likely they will make easier for gay kids. After all there is a huge difference in homphobia in public schools and colleges. Why? Is it because the college’s are run in a free market way that makes them more accountable to students. Where public schools are a monopoly and have no accountability to students.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Guillermo3
      Guillermo3

      @the other Greg: Scrolling down
      to reply to a reply,I saw this comment of yours.I’m amazed/
      flabbergasted/confused:How[why?_based on what evidence?]can you
      say that “gay kids are smarter than straight kids”?
      Based on my very long experience a a teacher,mostly at
      college/university level,I can say that intelligence,stupidity,
      erudition,and ignorance are pretty much equally shared among
      students,regardless of their sexual orientation.If anything,
      gay kids are sometimes spacier & less focused,possibly because
      of their anxieties about,or obsession with their being gay.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 2:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Guillermo3
      Guillermo3

      @brent: Thanks for responding,brent.
      I had mistakenly assumed that you are in Indiana,because the incident
      we’re commenting on occurred there.
      I really don’t know anything about the fight for school choice here
      in Philly,other than that maintining the right to attend[or not]
      neighborhood schools has been an issue.There is a plethora of charter
      schools,each devoted to specific areas of academic concentration.
      There is frequent controversy about the quality of some of these
      schools.
      As for public employees in Philadelphia Schools:Yes,they are
      unionized,but their union is ,if anything,too passive in my opinion.
      The aides’,councillors’,tutors’ positions have been threatened with
      having their numbers cut,and many have been cut under the direction
      of our Republican governor and Republican controlled state
      legislature in the name of fiscal responsibility.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 3:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @Guillermo3: That is great for you. The funny thing is though, I live in a Republican dominated county/city that just recently became that way because almost every single Democrat in office was found to be corrupt. However, the Republicans that are currently in office are very gay friendly, and there are protections in place for gay rights.

      When you talk about local politics, the two parties REALLY do not remotely resemble what they do at the state and national level.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 7:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Guillermo3: Sarcasm is lost on some people! But seriously, that’s always been my attitude about my OWN past. Anything I learned after about 5th grade, I learned on my own in the library. I was brutalized with hardly a break for years, and no teacher ever came to my defense or helped me out.

      “If anything, gay kids are sometimes spacier & less focused…,” ha ha, well possibly because they get beat up all the time and the adults are always finding lame excuses to blame the victim and do nothing about it.

      @brent: Uh oh… Brent agrees with me??? Well okay Brent, let’s agree on one.

      @nwilsontaylor: Yeah, we get it, you were a sadistic bully as a teenager, and probably tortured cats… but we could have guessed that, from your other hatefully insane raving posts.

      @Eric Auerbach: “Isn’t learning to deal with other people part of the point of going to school?” Fuck that! This argument exasperates me no end. You are reading way too much into it. High school and middle school have NO relevance to anything in the real world! They are just sadistic torture chambers.

      In fact, when I was still a teenager (only a year after high school) I quickly learned to get along great with the guys in my military unit, probably because they were NOT beating me up. Despite my near-total lack of social skills at first – thanks to my sadistic schools – and despite their being generally a pretty crude bunch of guys, they had reasons and incentives to act like responsible adults. And I learned quickly enough. Decades later I’m polite to co-workers at my job, for instance, as long as they are not beating me up. (Which, believe it or not, rarely happens… joke, joke!)

      Okay, I have to agree with you that the Indiana kid in question is to some extent seeking attention – when I wasn’t, and MOST gay kids aren’t… but SO WHAT. Why don’t the straight, “normal” kids ever need to “deal with other people” as “part of the point of going to school?” People like you are always finding a way to blame the victim!

      Sep 5, 2012 at 7:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @brent: No, its because colleges are filled with adults (even young ones) and high schools are filled with post pubescent children. High schools are emotionally driven social clubs. They are about devouring anyone that is different. They are about enforcing conformity. However, that is part of their job. In the end, it actually HURTS not HELPS society to have drastically different non-conservative views enter into it. Outliers are not very good rather they are extremely liberal or extremely conservative. I’m willing to bet that the high school he went to had more than a few gay kids. However, he was the only that carried a purse, wore makeup and went by a females name.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 7:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @the other Greg: The straight normal kids deal with other kids every single day. They just do not post on Facebook about how bad it sucks and how they might kill themselves or kill themselves over it. That would have to do with them not seeking attention and presenting themselves as constant victims.

      However, the cheer leading captain is a slut, the football captain is just a dumb jock, anyone with about a 3.0 GPA is a nerd. Anyone that is remotely socially inept is a geek/dweeb/dork. They all get bullied by others in the school. To think that bullying revolves around a LGBT status is ridiculous.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 8:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Eric Auerbach
      Eric Auerbach

      @the other Greg:

      Oh, victim schmitim. This kid was desperate for attention and then got mad when the attention he got wasn’t of the “OMG you’re so fabulous!” kind.

      As for your heart-warming tale of army camaraderie … what a load of bull$hit. You ever try wearing a purse or women’s jewelery around your HS army buddies? I’d bet good money that if you had ever tried to pull some $hit like that, your friends would’ve let you know their disapproval in no uncertain terms.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 8:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @Eric Auerbach: Totally different analogy. Of course the grown-up army has uniforms and what would be called in schools a “dress code.” So do the homophobic Scouts, I hear. So do most grown-up offices (except maybe on Fridays). Even my mailman and UPS guy wear uniforms. Everyone squawks whenever dress codes are enforced in schools. I don’t know why. Seems to me to be the least of their many problems.

      Okay, this kid wants attention. (And most gay kids are desperate NOT to get attention.) And SO WHAT. What’s your solution – expel the kid? Which actually would be fine with me, because I’ve already told you I think high school is utterly pointless and has no relevance to adult jobs, college or anything else in the real world. But expelling him just because he’s being an eccentric in dress is probably illegal, for some dumb reason. (Your dumb laws, not mine!)

      But how disruptive is he being, really? When grown-ups see some eccentricly-dressed person on the street, we’re not allowed to just beat the fuck out of him. Why is the automatic assumption with KIDS that it’s okay for them to do exactly that?

      @tdx3fan: Okay, you make a great case for school being totally pointless, not just for gay kids but for EVERYONE.

      Sep 5, 2012 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KARUADAM
      KARUADAM

      W.T.F!! Darnell, we all with you baby go for it my man!. When you get them by the balls the heart and mind will follows. Fucking bloody Christian again..

      Sep 8, 2012 at 2:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KARUADAM
      KARUADAM

      QUEERTY, dose now what we all worried about! censured the comments!.. FUCK YOU BLOODY QUEERTY. I deleted my profile ,but you for some fucking reason ignored that!.

      Sep 8, 2012 at 2:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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