Thursday, February 21, 2008

    What Should We Do?

    Did you hear about this? Probably not:

    "Two days before a shotgun-wielding Steven Kazmierczak shot 21 students inside a lecture hall on the campus of Northern Illinois University, taking the lives of five people as well as his own, 15-year-old Lawrence "Larry" King was shot in the head at the E.O. Green School in Oxnard, California, reportedly for being gay. He was in the eighth grade.

    Three days after the shooting, on February 15, King was taken off life support and pronounced dead. King's killer, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, apparently targeted the student because he was openly gay and sometimes dressed in women's clothes. King also wore makeup and jewelry to class on occasion. It's possible that McInerney, who has been charged with murder and the commission of a hate crime, will be tried as an adult, which means he could face 50 years to life in prison if convicted.

    King's death came 10 years after the brutal murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was also killed because of his sexual orientation. But for some reason, King's murder generated just a fraction of the media coverage that follows most school-shooting incidents. In fact, most of the initial reports about the killing were turned out by local news agencies, and the national media didn't catch up until several days later. "

    More here and here.


    yes2justice said...

    Thanks! I hadn't heard about this.

    Danny said...

    This is "local" news here in southern California, and has received quite a bit of attention. I was wondering how much attention it was getting in other parts of the country.

    The death is certainly a terrible tragedy. However, students in his community organized several candlelight vigil-type gatherings, and everyone has been overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up. They expected 100; 1,000 participated. There is some hope that events like this will become less common.

    Brian said...

    Thanks for sharing, Danny. We talked about this in youth group last night and only one person had even heard about it. I'm glad to see that they youth in the community are speaking out.