Lawrence King was the fifteen year old boy who was shot in the head in a computer lab in an Oxnard Middle School last Tuesday. Yesterday, reports came out that King was in critical condition but showed signs of improvement. However, late last night, Lawrence was pronounced brain dead by two neurosurgeons.
Lawrence King, 15, was declared brain dead by two neurosurgeons about 2 p.m. at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy Ventura County medical examiner. King’s body remains on a ventilator for possible organ donation, he said. He was shot early Tuesday in a classroom at E.O. Green Junior High School.
Authorities initially believed that King was improving. But the boy’s condition worsened early Wednesday, and he was placed on a ventilator a few hours later with his family nearby, said an official, who asked not to be named.
KNBC of Los Angeles reports Hueneme School District Superintendent Jerry Dannenberg as saying:
King had been receiving help from school support staff, Dannenberg said. He had no details on the type of assistance the teen needed.
“He was seeing a number of people trying to help him deal with his own personal issues,” he said.
And there’s your pretty little lie about Lawrence King. His “own personal issues” was code for “he was queer” and he was being bullied around by other students. The fact is that he told others he was gay and would show up at school dressed in girls clothing. The fact is that he wouldn’t back down when the other boys bullied him around.
But several students at the south Oxnard campus said King and his alleged assailant had a falling out stemming from King’s sexual orientation.
The teenager sometimes wore feminine clothing and makeup, and proclaimed he was gay, students said.
“He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails — the whole thing,” said Michael Sweeney, 13, an eighth-grader. “That was freaking the guys out.”
King was a “throw away kid”. Lawrence was under the Ventura County foster care program and living at Casa Pacifica, a nearby center for abused and neglected children. However, he wouldn’t step down when others tried to bully him around. Even the school administration ignored the problem when he was being bullied because it appears the bullying was chronic!
Several students said that a day before the shooting, King and several boys had some kind of altercation during the lunch period.
Jerry Dannenberg, the school district superintendent, said the school’s staff was aware that King had butted heads with other students, including the suspect, and offered both students help.
Dannenberg goes on to point to the murdered boy as the real problem:
“They had been doing a lot of counseling and a lot of work with [King] to help him deal with some of his concerns and issues,” Dannenberg said. “But I can’t go into specifics about what was going on.”
…because most feminine boys need to be bullied and kicked around once in a while, don’t they? I’m sure Superintendent Dannenberg can drive home proudly knowing that there will be one less queer kid who won’t be showing up at his school no more. And I’m sure he’ll have plans to “talk” to other students about bullying. There’ll be some student wide meetings about bullying. <yawn> Boring stuff that’s all put on to make sure everybody knows the school “cares”. But since the “problem child” is dead, the superintendent’s concern will last about seventy-two hours…maybe a few minutes more.
In a month, Dannenberg won’t even remember the kid’s name.
What does it take for a couple of professionally trained educators to see a 15 year old boy wearing make-up and girls clothes to keep an eye on the kid? Make sure he’s safe? An occasional “watchful eye” on the boy as he’s walking down the halls or out on the grounds? You can’t tell me every faculty member in that school knows which kids are living in Casa Pacifica and that those are the kids who don’t have a family to go home to. And here comes this strange little boy with fingernail polish and wearing a pair of girls high-heeled boots and their answer is to “send him to counseling”?!?!
And what about the suspect?
Student Juan Sandoval, 14, said he shared a fourth-period algebra class with the suspect, whom he described as a calm, smart student who played on the basketball team. “I didn’t think he was that kind of kid,” Sandoval said. “I guess you never know. He made a big mistake.”
If authorities can point the killing as a hate crime, the suspect will stand trial as an adult.
Ventura County Dist. Atty. Gregory Totten said prosecutors would decide whether the case should remain in Juvenile Court after reviewing the police investigation. Under state law, prosecutors can ask the court to try the suspect as an adult, he said. “In all probability he will be charged in adult court,” Totten said.
Don’t hold your breath on that trial. The suspect, hours after the shooting, was found a few blocks away still holding the gun. My bet will be; he won’t get more than a few years in jail. More likely, he’ll get probation.
- Lawrence King won’t have his family at the trial bawling and crying on behalf of their dead son.
- Ventura County and the school won’t have to pay for the kid’s education, housing or his food. The courts will wrap this case up really quick.
- The suspect will get a wizz-bang attorney because it’ll be an easy win and the attorney’s humping for a partnership.
If you hunt around on this story on your own, you’ll be stunned to see how many professional medial sites talk about the story and yet never once make mention of King’s sexual orientation. What’s even more tragic is seeing those same news sites dwelling on the fact that King “had problems” and he was “under a lot of counseling”. All of it slanting towards the idea that King brought it on himself.
Who will morn Lawrence King’s death? I will. And I’m guessing I’ll be in very small company.
Thank you John of the ComingOut group for bringing this to my attention.
Lansing Community College (Lansing, MI) Gay Straight Alliance will be holding a flashlight vigil on March 25th in memorial of Lawrence King.
Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Time: 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Location: Michigan’s Capital
Street:100 N Capitol Ave, Lansing, MI
GSA will provide some glowsticks, but are requesting you bring your own flashlights. For safety purposes, please, no candles. For more information, click to be a member at Yahoo Groups; “Coming Out“. The moderator will be happy to provide the details.
A person identifying himself as Lawrence King’s uncle has begun construction on a website in memorium of the victim and make a donation in rememberance. I’m sure there’s more than one person who could volunteer by helping him speed up the construction and get it presentable. You can visit the site by clicking here.
Hint: Help him set up a PayPal account so we donate to the fund electronically!
In the past three hours, he’s begun posting pictures of the boy in a variety of settings; Christmas, with his little dog, playing in the snow, etc.
The Los Angeles Times has released the name of the suspect as Brandon McInerney (14 yrs old). McInerneny has been charged for premeditated hate crime, and enhancements of the use of a firearm as well as listed as a hate crime. The boy, although a minor, could face up to 50 years to life in prison and is currently being held on $770,000 bail.
Under California law, the legal cut-off for charging an adolescent as an adult is 14 years, and Brandon turned fourteen just two weeks earlier on January 24th. This leaves the option open for prosecutors to add the additional case that he be tried as an adult.
The article also points out that McInerney grew up in Oxnard on the south side of town where his father has had a few bumps with the law. In 2000, charged with disturbing the peace and a few months later, charged with domestic abuse where he served 10 days and 36 months probation. In 2002, he plead guilty to drunk driving and driving without a license and served another 5 days in jail.
Students witnessed an altercation between King and bunch of boys, including McInerney the day before the shooting took place. It is still unknown how McInerney smuggled the weapon onto school grounds.
Also heartening, if that’s at all possible, is the groundswell of support coming out of the GLBT organizations in the area. Although King was living in Casa Pacifica, and it’s not made public as to why he was living there, he was involved with the local GLBT programs for teen and young adults.
The case is drawing attention from a growing number of gay rights groups, which said they would be watching developments closely.
“In the 15-year history of this organization, this is the first time we’ve seen the district attorney act this swiftly and clearly to say ‘This will not be tolerated,’ ” said Jay Smith, executive director of the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance, a nonprofit group that advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights.
“We’re assuming that the hate crime component has to do with [King's] sexuality,” Smith said. “Because of that, we are very eager to see the district attorney follow through.”
Smith said King had participated in Friday night rap sessions at the alliance’s offices in Ventura. The sessions are for youths ages 13 to 23 regardless of their sexual orientation, Smith said.
In a world of disconnections, one piece does shine through:
Student Averi Laskey, 13, said she had known King since grammar school and liked him. She said that only in the last two weeks had he begun dressing in a feminine manner.
“Even if he was different, he didn’t deserve it,” she said.
Laskey said King was happy at Casa Pacifica, although he had to take a long bus ride to and from school every day. He said he grew up in a troubled home, she said.
“He never felt like he had a family, but he told me when he got to Casa Pacifica that he had one there,” Laskey said.
We can can only hope God found a real family for that poor little guy. …In a place far away from Hate.
It’s time to change the message.
Ellen Degeneres touched this topic beautifully and she makes a valid point. Watch it here.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: | Brandon McInerney, Casa Pacifica (Neglected and Abused Children Ctr), ComingOut, Ellen Degeneres, foster children, Gay Straight Alliance, Gregory Totten (Ventura Co Dist Attny), hate crime, homophobia, Jerry Dannenberg (Hueneme School Dist), Lansing Community College (GSA), Lawrence King (gay-murdered), neglected children, school shooting, teen murder, Uncategorized, Ventura County