Openly gay teenager, Dynasty Young, has filed a lawsuit against Indiana Public Schools along with the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis as reported by NBC News. When news of Dynast’s safety originally broke, GLAAD staff worked with Dynasty Young and his mother in assisting with fair and accurate media attention about the story and offering our support.
The lawsuits states:
From the day he arrived at Tech, Plaintiff Dynasty Young was subjected to relentless, severe harassment and abuse by other students because he was perceived as gay and because his clothing, behavior, and demeanor did not fit stereotypical notions of masculinity. He repeatedly reported the abuse to school staff. Rather than take effective measures to protect him, school staff told him that he was to blame for the harassment because of his appearance and told him to change his dress and behavior to conform to stereotypical ideas of masculinity and to be less “flamboyant.”
Earlier this year, Dynasty was expelled from Arsenal Technical High School after using a stun gun at school to protect himself After relentless attacks about his gender identity and sexual orientation, the teen’s mother, Chelsea Grimes, saw no other way to protect the life of her son. She reported the incidents multiple times to the authorities at the school, but as the verbal and physical assaults became too great, she began to fear for his life.
“My son is a wonderful, sweet, talented young man,” added Grimes. “He deserves a chance to attend school and learn without being terrorized by other students and told that the school will not protect him unless he changes who he is.”
On the particular day of Young’s expulsion he was surrounded and taunted by six schoolmates, where he used the stun gun, pointing it in the air to protect himself. When police arrived, Young was told that he could avoid such issues at school if he changed the way he dressed.
Unfortunately, this type of rhetoric is exactly what exacerbates the violence against LGBT youth today, in turn, dehumanizing them and making them quite less than victims. Young’s gender expression does not validate the taunting he received, but rather the district and instructors should be making much more overt attempts to protect their students regardless of how they express themselves. Dynasty Young represents the needed for continued public education and awareness to protect the bullying LGBT youth endure. Understandably, different areas of the nation pose other threats and dangers, but simply sending students to an alternative school is not the solution to end bullying.
GLAAD is happy to see that Dynasty Young and his mother are continuing to fight for inclusion, equality and the safety for students who experience this type of abuse and injustice.