The trial of Brandon McInerney, who killed 15-year-old gay high-schooler Lawrence King in 2008, is well underway. This week, testimony from teachers has provided surprising background not just on the incident, but on King’s life and the prevalent culture at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, CA.
“He desperately wanted to be liked but didn’t have the social skills to get along with his peers,” special-ed teacher Susan Crowley said about King. “He often said things that were one note off the mark.”
As reported in the Ventura County Star:
When [King] came to her class wearing a pink scarf, she told him to take it off, said Crowley, who testified that she probably knew King better than anyone at the school. Then there was the jewelry and makeup that followed.
“I was concerned they were designed to draw negative attention to himself and would make him unhappy and victimized,” she said. “He couldn’t distinguish between positive and negative attention. He just wanted people to pay attention to him.”
Other educators testified that King was developmentally immature, appeared confused about his sexuality and made sexually suggestive comments to other students. “I think Larry was probably gay, but I don’t think he knew that,” Crowley said. “He had a lot of years before he could figure it out.”