Is Giving a Bullied Child A Stun Gun OK?

This week's Parents Talk column is dedicated to a topic every parent fears: bullying. Is it okay to give your child a device such as a stun gun to protect themselves when you feel you've exhausted all avenues?

This week's topic deals with bullying. It's a topic , only this time, a parent has made headlines for telling her son to fight back.

An Indiana mother who sent her gay son to school with a stun gun after she felt administrators hadn't done enough to stop bullying against him told CNN anchor Don Lemon she would do it again, even though the teen expelled for doing so.

"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?" the mother, Chelisa Grimes, said in a CNN interview. "I did feel like there was nothing else left for me to do, but protect my child."

Grimes sent her son, Darnell "Dynasty" Young, to Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis with the stun gun after he said he was taunted and bullied for months about being gay and his attire.

On April 16 about six students surrounded him at school calling him names and threatening to beat him up, and Young pulled the stun gun from his backpack. He raised it in the air, setting off an electric charge, and sending the group scurrying. Young said he only pointed it in the air and not at anyone, to scare them away.

A stun gun has to be near or pressed against a person to shock them. According to a 2009 National School Climate Survey of 7,261 middle and high school students, nearly nine out of 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students had experienced harassment at school. Nearly two-thirds felt unsafe because of their sexual orientation.

So for those parents in , if you know your child or another child is LGBT, what do you do when her or she is being bullied? Is it okay to allow them to protect themself with a stun gun when you've felt you exhausted all other avenues? Tell us in the comments section. 

Angela Atkinson May 22, 2012 at 02:49 PM
That's a tough one. Of course you want to protect your kids--and if the mom had already done all she could as far as reaching out to the school's administration for help and all--I don't know if I can blame her for taking the action she did. The kid didn't use it to hurt anyone, either, which is a plus. I think as parents, we'll do whatever we need to do to protect our kids. We are lucky that our schools take bullying pretty seriously. Although they're not LGBT, when my kids have struggled with bullies at school or on the bus, I've been able to call or email the school and they've taken action immediately. They aren't kidding when they say they have a zero-tolerance policy in the HSD.
Candace Jarrett May 22, 2012 at 07:44 PM
I hear you Angie. It's tough. Your baby will always be your baby and you will always want to protect them. Could she have sought police help and possibly pressed charges if the school and parents weren't more receptive? Yes.
Ashley May 23, 2012 at 12:17 PM
I don't know what the answer is but a child doesn't deserve to be picked on just because they stand out as different in some way. The mother did what she has to do. I clicked the CNN link and it's obvious the school district was biased and felt it was ok for him to be bullied because he dressed "flamboyantly." The district should be at fault for some of this.


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