Until very recently, Darnell ‘Dynasty’ Young was a junior at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Young, who is gay, says he was bullied daily. When a group of students surrounded Young with the intention of beating him up, he pulled out the stun gun his mother had given him and shot in the air. While the shot lead to the students to run, it also lead to Young’s arrest and expulsion from school.
Regarding the shot, Young told MSNBC reporters “My point was not to hurt anybody … the purpose was to back them off. I didn’t know what else to do.”
Arsenal Tech’s principal Larry Yarrell said that although school administration had looked into Young’s bullying claims, they were not able to pinpoint all of the students that bullied him. The principal also suggested that Young “tone down” his look. The district has stood by the school’s decision to expell Young, whom would not be eligible to return to school until January of next year.
When asked by a reporter at CNN about giving her son a stun gun, Darnell mother Chelsea Grimes said, “I do not promote violence — not at all — but what is a parent to do when she has done everything that she felt she was supposed to do. I did feel like there was nothing else left for me to do, but protect my child.
In a statement to MSNBC, Executive Director of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network Carolyn Laub said,
“Dynasty, like many other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people, was pushed out of school by an administration that failed to keep him safe and by school discipline policies that remove students instead of resolve the problem. When schools use a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to school discipline, they unfortunately reinforce an environment of fear and punishment and fail to create a climate of inclusion, safety, and respect for all students.”
What do you think? Did the school act appropriately, or did it go too far? Let us know in the comments.