Chelisa Grimes gave her gay son, Darnell “Dynasty” Young, a stun gun to protect himself against bullies, after she lost faith that officials at Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis would protect him, CNN reports.
The 17-year-old high school student says be took the stun gun to school because he didn’t feel safe. On April 16, six students surrounded Young, taunting him and pelting him with homophobic insults. He then took out the gun and fired it, sending off an electric shock. The would-be bullies were abated. Young’s mom says she doesn’t regret her decision of giving her son a stun gun, and, in fact, would make the same decision again. However, her son is now facing expulsion.
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She told CNN the choice to arm her son was one that she had to make:
“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?” the mother, Chelisa Grimes, told CNN’s Don Lemon on Sunday. “I did feel like there was nothing else left for me to do, but protect my child.”
Young, who is known to be a flashy cross-dresser, got little support from his school’s principal, Larry Yarrell:
“If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they’re going to say whatever it is that they want to say,” Yarrell told The Star. “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.”
Young said it was unfair for him to be suspended from school for protecting himself. His decision to use the gun during the April 16 incident stemmed from his frustration over being bullied. He said that the bullying has pushed him to consider suicide.
Watch Young and his mom talk to CNN’s Don Lemon about being bullied and his thoughts of suicide because of it.