Cases & Advocacy

Dynasty Young v. Indianapolis Public Schools

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: Indiana

Jurisdiction + Case Number: S.D. Ind., Case No. 1:12-cv-01241

Dynasty Young was an effeminate black gay student who liked to wear knee-high boots, bangles, and purses to school. Students called Dynasty a “fag,” spat at him, threw rocks and bottles at him, and they would move far out of his way when he walked by as if to avoid contracting a disease from him because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.

Instead of protecting Dynasty from this harassment, teachers and school administrators blamed him and his “flamboyant” clothing for the bullying and harassment.

The constant mistreatment took a toll on Dynasty physical and emotional wellbeing. Fearing for Dynasty’s safety, his mother gave him a “self-protection flashlight,” a device that emits a loud noise and has a weak electric charge to scare off would-be attackers. In April 2012, six students surrounded Dynasty and threatened him with physical violence. Trying to avoid a fight, Dynasty took the self-protection flashlight out of his bag and turned it on. The loud noise caused the students to scatter. Later that day, however, Dynasty was arrested and expelled for having a weapon on campus.

On August 31, 2012, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Waples & Hanger, and Kirland & Ellis LLP sued the Indianapolis Public Schools on Dynasty’s behalf for failing to address the bullying and harassment as well as for expelling him from school. On July 10, 2013, the parties announced a settlement agreement. IPS agreed to remove the expulsion from Dynasty’s record and compensate him for the harm caused by its failure to appropriately respond to the incidents of bullying that Dynasty reported.