Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2016-06-29
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  WINDY CITY TIMES

NCLR files against school for failing to protect gay student
From a news release
2012-09-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


(Indianapolis, IN, August 31, 2012)—Today, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the law firms of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Waples & Hanger filed a federal lawsuit challenging Indianapolis Public Schools' (IPS) discriminatory treatment and failure to protect an openly gay former student who faced severe and relentless harassment at Arsenal Technical High School (Tech) throughout the 2011-2012 school year. Rather than address the constant harassment and abuse suffered by 17-year-old Dynasty Young, school administrators blamed the harassment on Young's gender nonconforming clothes and "flamboyant" behavior. Ultimately, IPS expelled Dynasty instead of taking effective measures to protect him from the harassment.

Before moving to Indianapolis in 2011, Dynasty was a happy, outgoing student who loved school and never had any major problems. But immediately after beginning classes at Tech High School, he encountered constant abuse from students who harassed and threatened him because of his gender nonconformity and perceived sexual orientation. Students called Dynasty a "fag," spat at him, and threw rocks and glass bottles at him.

Dynasty and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, repeatedly reported the harassment to Tech administrators, but the school administrators took no effective measures to protect him, and the abuse continued. Administrators, including Tech Principal Larry Yarrell, responded to the requests for help by blaming Dynasty for being gender non-conforming. In May 2012, 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."

As the 2011-2012 school year progressed, the harassment worsened, and Dynasty fell into depression. He was unable to eat properly, lost a great deal of weight, and dreaded going to school. Increasingly fearful for her son's safety, Grimes gave her son a self-protection flashlight, a small device that emits a loud noise, a light, and a weak electric charge. On April 16, 2012, six students surrounded Dynasty to attack him. He held the device in the air and activated it. The noise caused the aggressors to leave without assaulting him. But instead of locating the students who had threatened to attack Dynasty, Tech administrators suspended Dynasty for trying to prevent the attack and later expelled him.

In addition to the physical and emotional harm he experienced as a result of the bullying and the discrimination he experienced from IPS administrators who refused to take any meaningful steps to protect him, Dynasty was unable to complete the spring semester of his 11th-grade year at Tech High School, and will need to make up any necessary credits to graduate on time in 2013. He has recently enrolled in Indianapolis Metropolitan High School, a charter school not affiliated with IPS, where he is taking extra classes in an effort to try graduate on schedule.

"All students should be able to get an education without fearing for their physical safety, and they should be able to rely on school administrators to protect them when abuse does occur," said NCLR Senior Staff Attorney Christopher F. Stoll, one of the attorneys representing Dynasty and his mother. "It is outrageous that school officials who were entrusted with their students' safety and education blamed Dynasty for the abuse he suffered, and eventually expelled him from school, instead of accepting their responsibility to protect him from harm."

The lawsuit asserts claims for violations of federal civil rights law and the U.S. Constitution based on IPS's deliberate indifference to the harassment and abuse Dynasty experienced and its discriminatory treatment of him based on his gender and sexual orientation. The suit further alleges that IPS punished Dynasty and failed to address the harassment in part due to his failure to comply with Tech officials' demands that he change his appearance and style of dress, in violation of his rights to freedom of expression and liberty under the First Amendment and the federal Due Process Clause. The suit also challenges IPS's failure to consider Dynasty's appeal of his expulsion as required by its own internal procedures and the Constitution.

"I want to make sure no other student in the Indianapolis Public Schools ever has to go through the kind of abuse that I went through," said Dynasty. "I am hoping this will get IPS to start treating kids like me with respect and really do something to protect their students."

Grimes added: "It's important to get justice for Dynasty for the damage that IPS did to him, but it's even more important that IPS make some real changes in the way it deals with bullying and harassment. We hope IPS will be willing to sit down and talk with us soon about ways they can improve their policies and training so that kids like Dynasty can feel safe in IPS schools. My son is a wonderful, sweet, talented young man. 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."

Said Indianapolis attorney Richard A. Waples, the former legal director of the ACLU of Indiana, who also represents Mr. Young: "It is important that someone steps forward to stand up for these students who are harassed and discriminated against. Too many of these kids feel no one is there for them and lose hope. We want to help put a stop to this type of harassment and get our schools to protect these children."

Dynasty and Grimes are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, and Waples & Hanger.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Activist Janae Bonsu talks BYP100, queer Black identity 2016-06-29
BOOK REVIEW Being Jazz 2016-06-28
Windy City Times 30 Under 30 Honors event held 2016-06-22
17th Annual 30 Under 30 to honor youth June 22 2016-06-22
Groups Call on Legislators to Reject Appalling Attacks on Trans Children 2016-06-19
Transgender Youth Employment Toolkit released 2016-06-18
PRIDE Day at Brookfield Zoo 2016-06-17
Alliance makes history in naming Daniel-McCarter as new director 2016-06-13
Foster care seminar July 9 has special LGBTQ focus 2016-06-10
DePaul professor speaks out on school's racial issues 2016-06-08
DePaul professor explains controversial article 2016-06-01
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-06-01
Event to look at NY LGBTQ youth and survival sex 2016-05-25
Alice Rapoport Center opens 2016-05-25
23 civil-rights groups back Title IX moves trans students 2016-05-22
NEIU becomes site of Evan Wolfson's first commencement address 2016-05-17
Queer Youth Exploring Spirituality Holds Fundraiser in Pilsen May 14 2016-05-11
Chicago Filmmakers Announces Digital Media Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Youth 2016-05-10
Duncan addresses City College graduates 2016-05-10
Filmmakers Sets Digital Media Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Youth 2016-05-10
LGBT life front and center on historically black college campuses 2016-05-08
LGBTQ prom takes place in Lake View 2016-05-08
Conservative groups file suit against District 211 and feds in school bathroom case 2016-05-04
Storage project gears up to help youth experiencing homelessness 2016-05-04
Gender-identity options added to college applications 2016-05-04
Report reveals colleges requesting religious exemptions 2016-05-04
Chicago Public Schools Guidelines Support Trans Students, Employees, Adults 2016-05-03
Dept. of Ed Publishes Names of Schools Receiving Right To Discriminate Against LGBTs 2016-04-29
Center on Halsted starts housing initiative 2016-04-27
Lynch, Warren among school's recipients 2016-04-27
Springfield area trans student wins access in settlement with school 2016-04-27
Storage project gears up to help youth experiencing homelessness 2016-04-25
Cross-country hiker raises awareness for foster youth 2016-04-20
Urban Initiatives holds fundraiser at Sidetrack 2016-04-20
Gender JUST collaborative examines radical solutions to transgender issues 2016-04-20
Cradles to Crayons expands into Chicago, names Bernard Cherkasov ED 2016-04-18
Tiny Home Summit responds to homelessness 2016-04-17
20th Day of Silence has thousands of students taking action 2016-04-16
Children's Museum marks Family Equality Day 2016-04-14
Summit focuses on Tiny Home designs to combat homelessness 2016-04-13
 



Copyright © 2016 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com