Thursday, May 03, 2012

Bullied gay student protects himself and now faces expulsion

I don't condone the way this young man in Indiana defended himself but I understand and am totally in his corner:

Darnell "Dynasty" Young's classmates at Tech High School cursed at him in the school hallways and taunted him with homophobic slurs.

They followed him home from his bus stop and threatened to beat him up.

One night, as he walked home from his after-school job, they threw rocks at him.

When the 17-year-old and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, told school officials, she said, teachers and administrators seemed to blame Young for being openly gay.

His behavior and the way he dressed called attention to himself, they said.

He accessorized his outfits with his mother's purses and jewelry. And he loved to dance.

His dance routine to Beyonce's "Single Ladies" won second place at Tech's talent show in December.

"They said that the problem was he was too flamboyant, with his bags and his purses and his rings," Grimes said.

Desperate to protect her son from bullies, Grimes gave him a stun gun to carry, just in case.

"I had to do something," she said. "They throw bottles and rocks at him."

Now Young faces expulsion from school.

"It has been a nightmare," Grimes said. "I'm trying to fight for my baby's education."

Young's story is one that could unfold in countless schools across America.

More to the story here.

You know what? Who cares if the young man is flamboyant. There are worse things you can be in life. And if the child carries himself with pride and no shame, then more power to him.

It's a terrible thing when adults blame the teen victims of bullying for their abuse. And it's even worse when a child is made to feel that he or she is a freak and that their creative deserves to be stifled.

Keep your head up, Darnell. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you will overcome the ignorance of fools. And with moves like in the following video, your greatness cannot be stopped. You have talent and you should never allow that talent to be stifled.

But this story should serve as a reminder.  No one was hurt here, but one day, a bullied gay student may take it to the next level.  And it's not going to be a good level.

That is the warning.

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Moonpanther said...

Why on Earth can't you condone how he defended himself? He waves a non-lethal weapon in the air to scare off his potential attackers. If anything, I believe he handled himself better than I or most other people would in that situation. If schools are unwilling or unable to protect their students, then a student has every right to defend themself. I absolutely condone and commend his restraint in not actually using the stun gun on any of the six little bastards that surrounded him, but I also wouldn't be particularly upset if he had. Nothing is accomplished by gay kids being victims time and time again. If they want to be safe, sometimes they simply have to fight back.

truthspew said...

Lets see, he was bullied to the point where it extended OUTSIDE the school.

School Administrators did NOTHING to stem the bullying.

So what are you left to do? You arm yourself.

And because he did that now he faces expulsion?

What kind of fucked up world is this?

Not only should he be left in the school, his bullies should be identified and charged.

Granted, it was against school policy but honestly, what the hell was the school waiting for, Dynasty to be seriously injured?

Xaratherus said...

I am totally in his corner, including using the stun gun to protect himself. Throwing rocks and bottles is no longer bullying; it's physical assault. People have been severely injured - permanently brain-damaged - or even killed by thrown rocks and bottles.

Should he and his mother have pressed assault charges? Yes. Would that have stopped the bullying or simply escalated it? I don't know - but I would rather be safe than sorry. If someone attacks me for no valid reason, then I will defend myself - and if that means that he's dead and I'm not, then I'll grieve and feel guilty and probably kick myself over it - but at least I'll be alive to do so.

Jarred said...

On the topic of not condoning the way the young man chose to protect himself.....

Let's remember that he and his mother tried other avenues first. They reached out to school officials and school officials ignored their pleas and blamed him for being bullied. So the young man and his mother took matters into their own hands.

Seriously, given that the people who were supposed to help him didn't do their job, I can't say as I blame him for taking the only course of action he felt was left open to him.

fritzrth said...

This is the same was I was treated. I spent years being bullied and beaten and heckled to the point that I went to bed every night praying that I would just not wake up in the morning; just so I wouldn't have to go back to school.

I hit back one day and was threatened with expulsion unless I apologized. I've regretted ever since that I did. Nothing was ever said or done to those who had tormented me for years.

This is simply the way most schools handle these situations.

Erica Cook said...

I live in Indiana, and this is exactly the way it is. I was molested because people thought I MIGHT be a lesbian. When people knew I was being mistreated I was given a pamphlet on how not to bring attention to myself. It has been and will likely always be Indiana's policy that bullied victims of any kind bring it on themselves. If this mom wants to give him a chance at a safe education the ONLY way she can do that is to leave Indiana

Xaratherus said...

Erica, I'm really sorry to hear that you were molested in Indiana. I grew up in a community in southern Indiana that was actually surprisingly tolerant.

Our school put on a play (my sophomore year, I think?) called Sticks and Stones, wherein a lit teacher had his students read a book where a man leaves his family because he realizes he's gay. This causes a huge firestorm of controversy, with calls for the teacher to be fired. At the end of the play, the audience actually votes whether or not the teacher retains his job.

All three nights, the audience voted for him to stay as a teacher. Even though I was not "out" to myself then (let alone to anyone else), it surprised me.

I'm sad to hear that you've had to face such intolerance in our home state. :(

Daniel said...

Darnell Dynasty Young looks like a very sweet and sensitive young man. He has been put through inexcusable trauma in that bigoted community. I can hardly blame him for having a Taser. If they'd had Tasers when I was a boy, I would have loved to had one. There may be worse states to live in than Indiana. I lived there for 5 years. When I left, all I wanted was to see the state in my rear view mirror. My heart goes out to this young man, his brother, and his mother.

JayJonson said...

I commend Darnell and his mother for equipping him with some defense since the incompetent school officials did nothing to protect him. He should not be expelled. The bullies should be expelled.

Anonymous said...

Alvin McEwan, I agree with you wholeheartedly about everything you post. It's a sad comment on our society that there are still factions of people out there like NOM that want to spread ignorance, hatred, and abuse. They are indeed a very low minded and ignorant bunch but I believe we'll see the day when all human beings are equal, we just need to keep fighting the good fight; and I really appreciate your contributions to this cause.