The mother of an openly gay high school student in the US armed her son with a stun gun so that he could defend himself from bullying, saying that she had no choice.
But Chelisa Grimes' decision backfired. Her son was arrested by school police and has been suspended after he was approached by six bullies and tried to scare them off by holding the gun in the air.
The Indianapolis mum told CNN that her son, who was bullied for being gay and wearing female apparel to school, needed to be protected. She says that the school did nothing to support her son Darnell "Dynasty" Young's complaints.
"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?"
Grimes says that the bullying affected Darnell's behaviour at school and at home and his grades had dropped from A's to F's.
Darnell, 17, says he was targeted by bullies before admitting he was gay. He said fellow classmates would call him names and throw rocks and other objects at him.
"All day I'd be on my guard," he told the Indy Star. "It never got better. It always got worse."
Arsenal Tech High School principal Larry Yarrell said that he doesn't defend students' anti-gay attitude, but there wasn't much he could do about the bullying.
"If you wear female apparel, then kids are kids and they're going to say whatever it is that they want to say," he said.
Yarrell and the staff at the high school instructed Darnell to "tone it down as much as possible", referring to his attitude and clothing choices, in order to make his time at the school more bearable.
"They're just trying to make his transition over here as easy as they possibly can," he said of the suggestion.
At this point, Darnell's mother decided to take matters into her own hands. "If they weren't going to protect him, I'll protect him," she said.
Darnell was sent to school with a stun gun and after a few weeks of carrying it in his bag, he was approached by six students who made physical threats towards him.
Darnell then took out the gun and held it up in the air hoping that it would scare off the students. It worked but school police were called to arrest the teen. Once the stun gun was recovered he was suspended from school and now faces the possibility of expulsion.
Meanwhile, the bullies who verbally attacked Darnell are yet to be punished because the witnesses who confirmed Darnell's version of events have refused to identify the bullies.
A hearing on the matter has taken place, but a decision has yet to be announced.