Students continue to mourn in Oxnard, California this morning.
As many of you know, a 14-year old California kid named Lawrence King remains on life support after being shot in the head earlier this week. All signs indicate that the shooter, classmate Brandon McInerney shot King for being too feminine. Hate crime charges have been filed against McInerney, although police won’t specify why exactly those charges were included. Regardless of the motive, it’s a terrible crime and makes us wonder what exactly is wrong with kids these days. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s Matt Foreman released a statement this morning:
Right now we don’t know exactly how anti-gay hate expressed itself in the murder of Lawrence King. We do know is that he was harassed on a daily basis because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. We do know that adults at his junior high school did not stop it and that kind of tolerance of anti-gay bigotry is pervasive in our nation’s schools. Our hearts go out to Lawrence’s family – and to all young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids who are – right now, right this minute – being bullied and beaten in school while adults look the other way.
The accused shooter’s family insist that he and they are “terribly sad to learn [King] is brain-dead”. We suspect they’ll be even more upset when King’s pulled off life support.
John Ireland, a school administrator from California, wrote a commentary on King’s death in which he discusses King’s bravery:
Unlike most boys his age, Lawrence King did not seek to blend in. Many of us remember junior high as our most harrowing years of peer pressure and social uncertainty, no matter what crowd we fit into — nerd, jock, pep squad, orchestra or somewhere in between.
At 15, King dressed effeminately, wore makeup and fingernail polish and, according to the Los Angeles Times, told people he was gay.
School officials knew that King had been bullied. They had attempted, unsuccessfully, to contain and prevent the tension on campus that followed him around. A police spokesman said there had been, between these two students, some “bad blood.”
Ireland – and many others – are calling on politicos to take a closer look at bully laws and take a more proactive role in protecting queer – or allegedly queer – kids who face harassment at school. Let’s hope, pray and dream King’s death won’t be in vain, because that would be the real crime.
[Image via LA Times]
Speculation. You have no idea what the motive was.
By the way, periods go inside quotation marks.
“makes us wonder what exactly is wrong with kids these days”
Well, these ‘kids’ have been taught this hate by their moms & dads for a long time now!
chandler in lasvegas
I hope the parents documented every instance that they had to deal with school administrators regarding the abuse their child suffered that ultimately resulted in his murder. Public schools only react when they are faced with multi million dollar lawsuits that award damages based on their complicity and negligence.
Go Lambda Legal!
The parents were at fault here. Lack of parenting is the biggest factor. The family is broken, the father inlisted this kid in Junior Marines, Martial Arts training, rifling. This kid knew what he was doing. Murder 1, and the parents shouldnt be allowed to procreate.
Speaking of periods, it sounds like you are having yours!!!!!!!
Dee–you sound like a nitpicky little copy editor. Surely you’re not that heartless and bitter. I think you missed the point of this story in your desire for perfect punctuation.
Speculation? The DA said, and is prosecuting it as, a hate crime. The day before this article and your post.
You are a terrible human being.
This was a premeditated execution that the murderer told people about.
That comment is yet another from somebody who excuses murder against people who have nobody to defend them.
What’s wrong with kids these days? I’ll tell you.
They go to churches and schools that don’t have the balls to stand up to evil harrassment of gay students. Many teachers and ministers actively encourage the harrassment. THAT’S what’s wrong with kids today. In much of America, it has NEVER been harder to be a gay kid than it is today.
Churches let racism rule for many years, and they assisted it. And today they let homo-hating rule, and they ALL either actively assist it or cower in the wings terrified of tackling it.
There are clearly deeper reasons for this kind of thing than a lack of punative controls; we have more oeople in jail than nearly any country.
American “individualism” has bred a nation of fear and hatred. As much as the spirit of competativeness makes a few people winners, it leaves everyone else defeated and helpless. It might have worked for settl;eing the west and pushing others out, but it doesn’t get it for living in civilization.
that’s how Bush and similar Facsists gain power. They harness the psychology of hatred and violence that is so rampant in America.
Why can we afford so much money to kill people and nothing for healthcare. What is wrong with us?
this brendon kid will die. die and burn.mmmmmmmmmhm
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