Saturday, August 16, 2008

Family of Slain Gay Boy Blames School

"The parents and brother of 15-year-old Larry King of Oxnard filed a personal injury claim against the Hueneme school district seeking unspecified damages....."

If they had stopped right there, I think I would agree. I believe the school absolutely shares some of the responsibility for not adequately protecting Larry King.

But that is not why the family is suing.

The parents and brother of 15-year-old Larry King of Oxnard filed a personal injury claim against the Hueneme school district seeking unspecified damages for not enforcing the dress code.
No, no, no; a thousand times NO!

I am sick and tired of the attitude that only those who conform deserve protection from bullies.

King, an eighth-grader at E.O. Green Junior High School, was shot in February. Classmate Brandon McInerney pleaded not guilty to the shooting last week. He was charged as an adult and also faces a charge of a committing a hate crime.
The family's claim, filed last week in Ventura County Superior Court, said administrators and teachers failed to enforce the school's dress code when King wore feminine clothing and makeup to school.
His parents, Dawn and Gregory King, said faculty members knew their son had "unique vulnerabilities" and was subject to abuse because of his sexual orientation.
Unique vulnerabilities.?

Yeah, I suppose that much is true, but it should not be, and should never be used as excuse.

We are all unique in some way; sometimes this uniqueness is on display, sometimes not. But in a nation pretends to pride itself on rugged individualism, we can do a better job than this.

Everybody has an inalienable right to self expression. You might not like the way some people express themselves; I might not like the way some people express themselves; "society" might not like the way some people express themselves.

Tough shit. Get over it.



John Hosty-Grinnell said...

This has to be an overt act to get more attnetion to the cause, this is the only thing that makes sense here. Otherwise we are left with parents blaiming the school for things that they had full knowledge of and had complete control over.

A long dwelling hate within a little boy that went untreated caused this hate crime, not some gender bending clothes or make-up.

There are many things we can learn from those who dress or behave differently from ouselves. Were we to curtail what is worn, or said, or thought, it stiffles our ability to hear that lesson.

Paul Jamieson said...

Larry King was the bully Hosty - he harrassed kids constantly and was disciplined a number of times by the school. He didn't deserve to die, but it could have been avoided.

The parents are right here - the school is responsible for letting the situation get way out of hand.

And the lesbian asst principal who encouraged him to push the envelope is as guilty of murder as the kid who snapped.

This must really burst your bubble and the whole gay community at large.

For you see, this is what we have been warning you about all along.

Raymond A. Grinnell IV said...

I have to say I am dubious of any statement by this family. Why is it that he was not living with his family at the time of his death. Was it their abuse, or him acting out (which quite often reflects the parents in the first place). I hope these plaintiffs are prepared for a vetting.

John said...

Right on Ray, my feeling exactly.

The parents have problems, not doubt about it; they weren't there for Larry when he needed them, but then no one was.

That is the real tragedy.

He had no one he could truly trust who would put his interests first.

And the Paul Jamieson's of the world think the easy solution is simply to beat up on anyone who dares not conform to his standards.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Yes Paul, your last post will not be posted. I would think by now you would know what the rules are.

More likely you are just trying to annoy me by posting insults and emotion. When is it time to finally admit you are wrong and find a more productive way to spend your time.

If you weren't wrong your support would not be eroding like a sandcastle before the high tide. The fact is you are wrong, and because of that fact no amount of effort will hold back others from understanding why, and growing past you.

Paul Jamieson said...

"The Newsweek article makes it plain and clear that this was a tragedy brought on not only by the killer, but by the school."

This is Paul's contribution once I put it on a vitriol diet. Paul, you have some points we can discuss. I would appreciate if you would at least try to put your comments in a civil and uninsulting fashion. Otherwise I can edit what you have to say for pertinent content like this.

Ryan Charisma said...

I reject any notion that being effemenant brings on one's own murder. That is a bold faced lie. I don't care how uncomfortable anyone is with a little boy wearing glitter and heels. I DON'T CARE.

I suppose women are asking to be raped too?

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

The focus on what Larry King was wearing as the reason he was killed really bothers me. Ryan has a great point, no one should be allowed to use someone else's self expression as an excuse for their own violence.

Even our strongest opponents should be able to see the wisdom of this logic. There are however a few still out there that honestly think what a woman wears matters if she is attacked. I'm with Ryan on this, the "bitch had it coming" defense doesn't wash with me.

Paul Jamieson said...

Well you all seem to ignore the fact that Larry was bullying kids.

He was a disciplinary problem without the makeup and clothes.

The whole thing is horrible, but, was avoidable.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

I have heard that Larry was a bully, but I have only found this opinion on websites that are anti-gay. If you have a non-bias news source you can share it would bolster your view.

When people are bullied long enough they bite back, and I don't think anyone is going to try and argue that Larry was bullied. There are tons of factors in this case, one could be that he was starving for attention. When children need attention badly enough any type of attention will do, even negative attention.

This could simply be a case of where Larry lowered himself to the level of his attackers. In my eyes when someone finally goes on the offensive because they have been bullied so long you really can't blame the victim.

The bottom line Paul is that words cannot be used as a reason to murder someone. This is an inexusable line of defense, but it is all Brandon's team has outside of his horrific childhood. Were I them I would concentrate of that aspect and try to get people to understand the REAL reasons he killed this boy.

What it comes down to is two kids that were clearly mal-adjusted. One had a history of violence and intolerance, one needed to be the center of attention.

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a transgender young adult, I can truly sympathize. Think of all the parents in this world who live in fear and uncertainty. I feel sorry for people who choose not to understand and accept what they can't change. That boy had every right to live as he is.

John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Thanks for your input, I truly appreciate your courage as a GLBT parent to come forward for the rights of others.

Indeed, we must be vigilant to protect all forms of freedom whenever and where ever we can lest our own freedoms suffer for our lack of zeal.

I hope to hear more from you, feel free to comment any time.