Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-22
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

THEATER REVIEW Watch on the Rhine THEATER REVIEW
Watch on the Rhine
Playwright: Lillian Hellman. At: The Artistic Home, 1376 W. Grand Ave. . ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

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

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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 del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

ALMA announces scholarship at event 2014-10-22
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-22
Point accepting applications as of Nov. 1 2014-10-22
Cumberbatch on OUT cover; lesbian pundit canned 2014-10-21
Point Foundation honors scholars at Chicago event 2014-10-21
True Colors hosts national summit on LGBTQ homeless issues 2014-10-18
Chicago LGBTQ Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-10-15
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-10-15
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-15
Illinois Safe Schools says farewell to David Fischer 2014-10-13
Sociologist Pascoe on youth and homophobia Oct. 22 2014-10-13
Sami Grisafe inducted into school's hall of fame 2014-10-13
LGBTQ youth job fair Oct. 22 at Center 2014-10-08
Notes: Holy Name event Oct. 14; NU school asks orientation 2014-10-08
Alliance brunch looks at progress, challenges for safe schools 2014-10-08
Illinois Safe Schools Alliance welcomes new ED 2014-10-07
Upcoming: LGBT veteran event, NO H8 photo shoot, Safe School brunch 2014-10-02
Town hall focuses on bullying prevention 2014-10-01
Group offering youths five LGBTQ trips to Israel 2014-10-01
Alliance Brunch to recognize leaders in LGBTQ Safe Schools Movement 2014-09-27
NU grad school adds sexual orientation question 2014-09-27
Illinois Safe Schools, CPS collaborating on trans* policy 2014-09-24
UIC receives national award for diversity 2014-09-24
VIEWS Black children are beloved and beaten 2014-09-24
MTV, LOGO TV to premiere "Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word" 2014-09-18
UIC receives national award for diversity 2014-09-18
Life: Twelve 2014-09-17
Openly gay Roosevelt Univ. president to retire 2014-09-17
Chicago 2014 Homeless Youth Summit generates projects 2014-09-17
Fed Appeals Court upholds NJ law banning conversion therapy 2014-09-11
Rep. Harris honored by Almost Home Kids group 2014-09-11
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Chicago LGBTQ Youth Job Fair Oct. 22 2014-09-10
Youth counselor talks Night of Hope, suicide prevention 2014-09-02
Study: 19% of L.A. County foster youth identify as LGBTQ 2014-08-27
GLSEN launches 25 Days for Safer Schools 2014-08-26
Campus Pride's LGBT-friendliest schools 2014-08-20
Report has what youth of color think about LGBT agenda 2014-08-20
Possibilities 2014-08-20
Honors roll in for UIC researcher 2014-08-20





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 



 

Sophia Bush on 'Chicago P.D.' and being an LGBT ally
 
Aon, KPMG hold pro-LGBT event
 
Gay in the Life: Justin Romme
 
Dining news: "Dinner Party" Oct. 27; Cicchetti closes
 
ELECTIONS 2014 Printable Election Guide Charts
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now



  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.