An Indiana high school has expelled a bullied 17-year-old gay teen for brandishing a stun gun his mother had given to him for protection, according to the Indianapolis Star. Darnell “Dynasty” Young was ruthlessly bullied each day walking to and from school and work. After a recent altercation in which other boys pelted him with rocks, spit, broken glass and other debris, his mother, Chelisa Grimes, armed her son with a taser out of concern for his safety.
The teen, who is openly gay, sparked the taser over his head when confronted on school grounds by six other boys. The incident resulted first in his suspension, then his expulsion from school.
Repeatedly, Young said, he sought help from school administrators to stop the bullying. They did nothing but chastise him for his habit of wearing jewelry and carrying a bag, advising him to “tone it down.”
Since his story became public, Young has received an avalanche of support, including a supportive Tweet from Kris Jenner, wife of Olympic champion Bruce Jenner and mother of Kim Kardashian. In a video interview with the Star, he said, “I believe in God, and God has blessed me with this life.”
At the end of the video interview, wiping away tears, he confessed that when the bullying was at its worst, he had contemplated suicide.
“Difference is good,” said his mother, walking up behind him and folding him in a warm embrace.
Young and his mother intend to appeal the suspension, but in the meantime he plans to get his GED and go to college. His supporters are planning a rally on May 15 to protest outside a meeting of Indianapolis Public Schools to protest the decision by school officials to expel him.
School board official Samantha Adair-White has called for an independent investigation of the incident. Indiana does have an anti-bullying law on the books, but it does not include specific protections for LGBT youth.
School district spokesperson Mary Louise Bewley issued a statement that read, “While the district does not condone bullying, it also does not allow weapons to be brought on our school campuses for any reason. Students who violate this rule will be held accountable.”
Watch Darnell Young’s interview with the Indianapolis Star and his twin brother Darrell Young, embedded below: