American student sues school district for failure to stop bullying

17 year-old Darnell 'Dynasty' Young, who was expelled in May for firing a stun gun at school to scare off bullies, claims school administrators did nothing to stop the 'relentless, severe harrasment'

American student sues school district for failure to stop bullying
02 September 2012

Darnell ‘Dynasty’ Young and his mother filed a suit Friday against Indianapolis Public Schools for failure to address homophobic bullying.

Young was expelled from Arsenal Technical High School in May for firing a stun gun to school when confronted by a group of students who taunted him for being gay.

His mother, Chelisa Grimes, gave him the stun gun for protection after months of bullying.

Young said in a statement: ‘The harassment and abuse I went through at Tech was horrible. 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.’

The Indianapolis Star reports that the family’s attorneys say the district discriminated against Young because IPS not only failed to address numerous complaints from Young about the bullying, but administrators blamed Young’s effeminate demeanor and dress.

According to the suit, the school district violated Young’s First Amendment right to freedom of expression by suggesting he stop wearing his mother’s purses and jewelry to school.

The suit claims that fellow students on several occasions threw glass bottles and rocks at Young, spat at him and used homophobic slurs.

Defendants named in the suit are Tech principal Larry Yarell, Assistant Principal Debra Barloew, IPS Superintendent Eugene White, the district and the school board.

Young and Grimes are seeking unspecified damages. IPS spokesman John Althardt said the district’s attorneys would ‘review the information and we will respond accordingly’. 

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