Friday, May 11, 2012

The Cases Of Dynasty And Ja'Maya: Fending Off Bullies Can Get You Expelled ... Or Charged With A Felony

And yes, it's an ironic name for the high school.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An independent arbitrator ruled Monday that an Indiana gay teen will remain expelled from Arsenal Tech High School in Indianapolis until January 7, 2013 for discharging a stun gun on school property to discourage an attack by bullies.
17-year-old Darnell "Dynasty" Young was bullied for a long time at his high school. So long, in fact, that his mother gave him a stun gun for protection. He carried it in his backpack for weeks without even ervealing that he had possession of such a defense device. Then on April 16, he was approached by six young men in between class buildings who threatened to beat him up. He then pulled out the stun gun and fired it in the air to ward them off.

For that act of self-defense, Dynasty is not able to finish his junior year, nor the entire first semester of his senior year.*

There will be a rally for Dynasty on May 15 during the meeting of the school board.

Interviews with Dynasty and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, revealed several additional points about the bullying: it involved rumors about having sex with certain teachers and it also brought up the question "How far does this go?" Another point: will schools ever come up with rules as to the extent a teen can respond to bullying if he or she feels his life is threatened?

"Weapon" versus "Firearm"

The concealed carrying of a stun gun is legal in 43 states since tasers are not considered firearms by the U.S. Government. Carrying a stun gun to school, therefore, carries the same weight as carrying a knife, so would Dynasty's penalty have been as severe if he had wielded a knife?

The Case of Ja'Maya in BULLY

The movie BULLY may be one of the most powerful presentations on the subject because it focuses on the bullied teens, their families and the families of teens whose suicides were the results of relentless bullying. 13 million kids are bullied each year and many parents simply do not feel that their kids are safe. As in the case with Chelisa Grimes, she thought giving her son a taser would help him fend off the bullies. But in the case of BULLY's Ja'Maya (no last name given), the victim took matters into her own hands by brandishing a gun against her attackers on a school bus. Her mother had no idea that she had possession of the gun. As a result of the incident, however, Ja'Maya faced over 40 FELONY CHARGES. She was eventually put on probation instead of being placed in jail.

Dynasty, Ja'Maya and BULLY have a common thread: both parents and kids feel powerless against bullies because school systems have refused to take a pro-active stance against the "kids-will-be-kids-they're-cruel-at-this age" meme. To what point do they take matters into their own hands? Should they be armed in any way?

Has it come to this:

The Knuckle-Blaster (pictured above)
You wear this 950000 volt stun gun on your knuckles like a knuckle cap and punch your aggressor with a powerful blast of electric shock to incapacitate him and if you hold the device to your aggressor’s body for a longer period, he may fall down on the ground in pain and contortion.

A deadly serious discussion is needed. NOW.

*To date, there has been no action against the teens who surrounded Dynasty that day. Maybe they cited religious grounds.

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