Friday, May 04, 2012

Bullied Gay Black Teen Fights Back, May Get Expelled

Darnell "Dynasty" Young (left) with twin brother Darell (right), 17, attend
Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis, IN
Argh, this is a very upsetting story! A young, openly gay (and relatively "flamboyant") student is bullied by kids at his new high school constantly, administrators are told about it repeatedly, do nothing, bullying continues, mom gives kid a stun gun to protect himself, and when the bullied kid show it, he is the one expelled for bringing an illegal weapon to school, not the bullies!

The Indianapolis Star-News has more details of the situation:
Indiana law defines bullying as words or actions that are intended "to harass, ridicule, humiliate, intimidate or harm," so students do not have to be physically hurt to claim that they were bullied. 
Indianapolis Public Schools' bullying policy says administrators have to tell students that bullying "will not be tolerated." The policy also says administrators are responsible for investigating "complaints, allegations or rumors of bullying." 
Young and his mother said they told the school about the bullying more than 10 times, but Young said Tech did not formally investigate their complaints except for once when a student who taunted him during class was taken to the dean's office and punished. 
Grimes said she called the school about students following Young home from the bus stop, but school officials said they could not do anything since the students were not on school property. 
When she complained other times, they brought up his sexuality. Larry Yarrell, the Tech principal, said school staff were trying to help Young by suggesting that he "tone down" his accessories.
There's a lot more details in the full newspaper article, I encourage you to read the entire piece. In it, different experts disagree over whether Darnell should be expelled from school or not. It also appears as if the kids who did the bullying are not going to be punished because even though there were a number of witnesses, there is not enough information to identify any of the six kids who surrounded Darnell. It seems like in this day and age of cellphones and digital cameras there could have been some scenario arranged where the bullies were caught doing their illegal actions.

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