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Gay teen settles bullying lawsuit

An openly gay Indianapolis teenager expelled from an Indianapolis high school for bringing a stun gun to school to protect himself from bullies has agreed to settle his discrimination lawsuit against the school district for $65,000.

The proposed settlement filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis also calls for Indianapolis Public Schools to remove all references of Darnell “Dynasty” Young being expelled from school from the 18-year-old’s academic record. The agreement still must be approved by a judge.

Young and his mother, Chelisa Grimes, filed a lawsuit last Aug. 31 seeking unspecified damages, accusing administrators of failing to stop the “relentless, severe harassment and abuse by other students” of Young while he attended Arsenal Technical High School during the 2011-2012 school year.

They contended he was harassed “because his clothing, behavior and demeanor did not fit stereotypical notions of masculinity.”

The lawsuit said Young would sometimes wear “clothing and accessories that are stereotypically associated with women’s apparel,” but said it did not violate the school’s dress policy.

Young said he was spat at and other students threw rocks and empty glass bottles at him on his way home and called him homophobic slurs.

“I think what I did and what I went through got things changed,” he said, saying he believes future openly gay students will be treated better by schools.