A mother from Indiana, US, has said that she would gladly ask her gay son to carry a stun gun to school again, in order to confront homophobic bullies, even as the teenager now faces expulsion from the school.
Her comments, to CNN’s gay anchor Don Lemon, come after Darnell “Dynasty” Young, was suspended from school on account of his threatening his school-mates with a short-range stun gun, when they surrounded him, threatening to beat him up. Mr Young raised his gun in the air and set off an electric charge, which sent the groups running, CNN reports.
“I brought the stun gun ’cause I wasn’t safe,” the 17 year old said, who goes to the Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis. The school held an expulsion hearing last week, and a decision is expected later this week.
His mother, Chelsea Grimes, told Mr Lemon: “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 … at the school? I did feel like there was nothing else left for me to do, but protect my child.”
Larry Yarrell, the school’s principal, noted that Mr Young was a flamboyant dresser, and that the school staff have asked him to “tone down” his accessories. Echoing comments that one Essex teacher is claimed to have made, Mr Yarrell told the Indianapolis Star: “If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they’re going to say whatever it is that they want to say… Because you want to be different and because you choose to wear female apparel, it may happen. In the idealistic society, it shouldn’t matter. People should be able to wear what they want to wear.”
Mrs Grimes thinks however that the school officials haven’t done enough to protect LGBT students on the campus, a complaint echoed by surveys which have found that 9 out of 10 gay and trans students felt some sort of harassment or bullying at school.
Mr Young said that his bullies had been spreading “nasty” rumours about him and his teachers. He added: “I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know what to do and I thought about suicide… “I hate saying that word because God blessed me with this life. I love life. I love my education. I would never … but this bullying got so bad that I thought about that.”