May 8, 2012

Following almost an entire school year of bullying, Dynasty Young was suspended from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, Indiana on April 16 after shooting into the air an electrical self-protection device. The act was mend to ward off bullies, which it did, and no one was harmed. Today Dynasty was officially expelled from school until January 7, 2013. In response, the Gay-Straight Alliance Network and the Indiana Youth Group issued the following statements of support for Dynasty and other victims of anti-LGBT bullying:

Statement from Gay-Straight Alliance Network Executive Director Carolyn Laub:

“Dynasty, like many other lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender young people, was pushed out of school by an administration that failed to keep him safe and by school discipline policies that remove students instead of resolve the problem,” said Carolyn Laub, executive director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network. “When schools use a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to school discipline, they unfortunately reinforce an environment of fear and punishment and fail to create a climate of inclusion, safety, and respect for all students.”

Statement from Indiana Youth Group Executive Director Mary Byrne:

“The decision to expel Dynasty is but the latest example of the school administration’s failure to take the problem of bullying seriously,” said Mary Byrne, executive director of the Indiana Youth Group. “We must not cause further harm to Dynasty, and other victims of bullying, by denying them the opportunity to continue their education in a safe learning environment. Instead we must prioritize creating that safe learning environment, rather than punishing students for actions that result out of our failure to do so."

GLAAD staff have been working closely with Dynasty Young and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, as well as local and national media outlets, to ensure this story is told accurately and thoughtfully. For more on our work, please see these blog posts:

GLAAD Working with Indiana Gay Teen Facing Expulsion for Protecting Himself (5/4/12):

VIDEOS: Dynasty Young and His Mother Speak with Good Morning America, CNN & MSNBC (5/7/12):