Patricia Nell Warren

After Lawrence King, Who's Next?

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | February 17, 2008 1:48 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: Brandon McInerney, bullying, gay-bashing, Lawrence King, school violence

When the speeches are done, and the memorial candles flicker out, and the trial of Brandon McInerney is over, American society will face the horrible reality of how little we've dealt with the mounting violence at schools - especially the violence against LGBT students. Over the decades, hundreds of students have died in gunfire sprayed around classrooms and hallways - kids who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But Lawrence King's murder is the first one in American history - as far as I know - in which the sole target of a premeditated public murder at a school was a student who was open about his gender or orientation issues.

Who will be killed next? I'll bet there are thousands of LGBT students across the country who are now laying awake at night wondering.

Here in southern California where I live, Lawrence's murder at an Oxnard middle school sent a huge tremor of horror through students and educators - precisely because the Los Angeles Unified School District was probably the first in the country to see the problem coming, and to attempt to do something about it. Let's face it - 15-year-old Lawrence wasn't just killed, he was assassinated. Fourteen-year-old Brandon McInerney walked right up to him in the computer lab and put bullets into his head, hit-man style. The message couldn't be clearer.

As a former commissioner of education in LAUSD (1996-99), and someone who has worked with at-risk LGBT youth in the school district, I think that many Americans are in desperate need of a closer perspective on violence at school and how our society has been fumbling it.

Every time a school shooting happens, everybody wrings their hands and says, "This has to stop!" But the shootings keep happening. And they are not a new thing. Indeed, the conservative 1950s saw the first tremors of juvenile violence emerging at school - unforgettably portrayed in that landmark film The Blackboard Jungle. To date, in the U.S., there have been 45 on-campus massacres with guns - count 'em. The first was in Austin, TX in 1966. Since then, the frequency of shootings has stepped up like a dreadful crescendo, especially since the massacre at Columbine High School in 1999 - which was ten years ago already. More than half the shootings - 27 of them - happened just since Columbine. Two days after King's murder, shooting #46 happened at Northern Illinois U, leaving 5 students and the killer dead.

In short, the pace is picking up, and enough people have been murdered at American schools to equal the casualties of a small civil war. But America is still in the hand-wringing stage -- still pretending like we don't know what we have to do. It's clear that educators, families, communities, churches and law enforcement must all share the huge responsibility for stopping this terrible trend.

In my opinion, the place to start stopping it is right at school.

King's shooting has got the anti-gun lobby in full cry once again. But taking away people's guns is not the answer. At school, metal detectors and cops in the hallways and searches for weapons are not the answer. Why? Because the bullies can come to school and kill their victims with baseball bats - with cafeteria forks or sharp pencils, even with their fists and feet. And they can do this in the boys' bathroom in the blink of an eye, when the school cops aren't watching. As Eddie Izzard said, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people." So we have to get the bullies, not the weapons, out of school.

The dynamics of college-campus shootings may be different than those at K-12 schools, where kids are younger. Bullying and powerful cliques have a more devastating impact on younger egos. Indeed, I think that the influence of cliques is often under-scrutinized - the media and the public prefer to focus their outrage on a "lone criminal with a gun." But often a student who is egged on by friends and buddies will explode into a violent act that he or she might not have committed if left alone. I say "she" because a growing number of assaults against other students are now being committed by girls, and cliques of girls.

News reports indicate that King was bullied not only at E. O. Green Junior High but a previous school as well. Law enforcement may have to investigate whether other kids at the school egged McInerney on, or knew that something was coming down. At lunch the day before the murder, a student was overheard telling King that he'd better watch his back. McInerney himself was heard to say that the next day would be King's last. That tells me that other kids may have known something, but said nothing. So a clique may have been a factor in this crime.

School principal Joel Lovstedt told the Los Angeles Times, "There was some teasing but we were working on it and [King] had met with counselors before. And we met with other, with classmates, about picking on people." But obviously E. O. Green's counseling was not effective enough to keep the "picking" from escalating into pulling a trigger.

As violence has gradually swamped the hallways and playgrounds at American schools, the growing brutality against LGBT students right on campus has emerged as a glaring concern for some. When I was a commissioner in LAUSD, bullying and gay-bashing was already a huge issue -- long before the Columbine massacre ever happened. In the 1980s LAUSD was the first U.S. school district to realize that there was a sizeable LGBT population among its 700,000 students - and many of these were dropping out of school because of bullying and assaults at school.

So in 1988 the L.A. Board of Education started taking action. First they approved the launch of Project 10, a landmark LGBT counseling program that is now available in most high schools in LAUSD. The following year, 1989, the Board adopted a formal policy that LGBT students have the right to be safe at school. A few years later, to solidify the safety policy, the Board approved four continuation programs around the district where LGBT drop-outs could get back into the classroom and get their high-school diplomas. One of these programs, EAGLES Center in West L.A., was where I helped with the volunteer teaching of 42 LGBT students, mostly black and Latino boys, for six months.

By 1999 LAUSD's protective policy was expanded to all of California by AB 222, the Dignity for All Students Act, sponsored by openly lesbian Senator Sheila Kuehl. AB 222 covered gender-variant students as well as gay, lesbian and bi. So technically Lawrence King was shielded by this law.

The religious right have fought tooth and nail to torpedo the state law, along with any district policies protecting LGBT students. Generally the righters want their own kids to be safe at school, but they don't give a hell about anybody else's kids - least of all the LGBT kids. National organizations like the Christian Coalition have threatened, lobbied, litigated and interfered directly in district elections and district affairs. Lou Sheldon even had LAUSD's gay-protective programs investigated by Congress on grounds that they are aimed at "homosexual recruiting." My fellow LGBT commissioners and I were among those investigated. Congress took no action against the programs, but the religious right are like the Terminator -- they never give up on trying to do you in.

Passing that state law to protect our students took an enormous effort of several years. But implementing it and enforcing it at the campus level, on a daily basis, is a different kind of effort. Right in our own district, schools ran the gamut, from those that cared about their LGBT students, to those that maintained a callous attitude. In 1999 we commissioners were told by the LAUSD office charged with tracking school crime statistics that they suspected gay-bashing was the most under-reported offense by far. Either the victims were afraid to report it, or school authorities didn't bother to report because they simply didn't care - or the school was trying to handle the problem privately and didn't want a "blot" on its record.

The fact is - when school administrators find bullying going on, they often refuse to see the speeding train coming straight at them. Yet they usually get advance warning on a bully or clique of bullies and who the victim is. But they fail to act immediately -- to suspend the problem students and get them out of the school without any delay. Why? Because they don't want to deal with the angry parents of one bullying kid, or the parents of an entire bullying clique, especially parents with political juice. They also don't want to deal with local church conservatives who insist that protecting LGBT students is equal to saying that homosexuality is OK. Not to mention the fact that every student not in school that day is ADA money that the school doesn't get. Teachers, too, are often afraid to speak out against bullies, because they know that teachers are assaulted at school as well.

So there are many reasons why a principal or director takes the line of least resistance, and lets the bullies stay in school. Sooner or later, the crime finally happens.

America needs to take its cue here from medicine. When doctors diagnose a small malignant cancer, they don't wait till that disease has spread through the whole body. They go in right away and cut out the cancer. Students who bully or assault other students for any reason are a social cancer that simply has to be cut away from the school institution. It's called zero tolerance. If a school finds that it has an entire clique of kids that is making other students' lives miserable, then they must remove the clique.

Once the problem kids have been removed from the "general population," teaching them that their lives will be toast if they go on bullying others will not be easy. The Brandon McInerneys should be clapped into a special school where they can get intensive counseling as well as finish their K-12 education. Their budding anger against the world has to be identified and dealt with. Often their families will have to be counseled as well, and held responsible for their own attitudes that they've taught their kids. Kids who bully other kids might grow up to bully their spouses, their own children and other people as well, so it will be worth it to nip their bullying in the bud.

Hopefully many of these problem kids can be moved to change their attitudes. While we may not be able to stop every single school murder from happening these days, we can surely stop more of them if we act on those first warning signs.

I also think it's important to put criminal liability on cliques where it's appropriate. Often a popular school clique gets carried away with what it sees as its enormous power. Its members convince themselves that they don't have to answer for their collective actions. Recently on her TV show, Judge Judy Scheindlin heard a case involving two girls who had stood by and egged another girl to beat up a fourth girl. One of the two bystander girls was smirking and unremorseful, and Judge Judy ripped into her. She told her that she was lucky she wasn't appearing in a family-court case that had come before Scheindlin years ago, where a female student had actually been battered to death as the result of egging-on by other girls.

"I sentenced one girl in that clique to 30 years," Judge Judy barked at the smirker, "and my conviction was held up on appeal." The judge's point was this: bystanders can be as guilty as perpetrators, if they actively add into the situation that ends in a brutal crime.

Bullying and cliques have been around American schools forever. But in the 1950s rural Montana where I attended high school -- where gun laws were liberal and most families had firearms lying around openly at home - it never occurred to any of us students to take a gun to school and shoot someone we didn't like. We confined ourselves to name-calling and spitballs and the occasional fist fight. So bullying was routinely survivable in the 1950s. Today bullying has gone so far over the top, that it is not even reliably survivable.

Indeed, it is time for school administrations to stop listening to all the anti-gay churchy fanatics who actually want the threat of death or maiming at school to lie in wait for all the Lawrence Kings out there. The religious right, from Sheldon and other leaders right down to local groups who harass school boards and principals, share a real responsibility for Lawrence King's death. I view them as the most despicable kind of clique - they are adults with enormous social and political power who egg kids to commit acts of violence by telling them that God hates their victims.

As for McInerney himself - if he is found guilty on all charges, his life is over. He will be prosecuted as an adult and may be looking at 50+ years to life - 25 for premeditated murder, 25 for the firearm, and possibly 3 for the hate crime. But McInerney's conviction will not bring justice for Lawrence King. All it will do is prove that our country is teaching kids to kill at school, not to read and write.

Will Lawrence King's death be a turning point in school violence -- not only violence over gender and orientation, but violence over any other issue that prompt kids to brutalize each other? Will King's assassination prompt a national examination of conscience? Or will it become a footnote -- a lonely memorial of teddy bears and flowers near one school in Ventura County, and a few editorials in the gay press?

My prediction is this: if effective steps aren't taken, King's murder will be followed by many more. You can count on it.

_________________
Contact info for Project 10:

Judy Chiasson, Coordinator
Human Relations, Diversity, and Equity
Los Angeles Unified School District
333 S. Beaudry Ave., 16th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Direct 213.241.5626
E-mail judy.chiasson@lausd.net


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Patricia, you're so right. And Project 10 is such an amazing program. I really respect all the work that they're doing to improve the lives of LGBTQ students.

Ye Olde Fart | February 17, 2008 4:56 PM

Pat, I fully agree with what you say, but it seems to me you are preaching to the choir.
This article should be published where it can be read by more of the general public.
Thank you for sharing it with us.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | February 17, 2008 6:00 PM

Patricia, I agree with you that given the dynamics of our culture, Lawrence King's tragic murder will likely inspire more of the same.

But I take strong issue with your statements, "Taking away people’s guns is not the answer," followed by the canard of the gun industry, "Guns don’t kill people, people kill people."

I will preface this by saying I personally know--or knew--three people who were killed by guns. Add my grandfather, whom I never met and who committed suicide with his hunting rifle, and that makes four people who would possibly still be alive were it not for the easy availability of guns in this culture.

Yes, people commit suicide with pills, jumping off bridges, crashing cars, etc. etc. I am very aware of that. But as a third-generation survivor of suicide--both my mother and grandfather used guns--I can say firsthand that having a gun in the house makes it much, MUCH easier to kill yourself. For that very reason, I will NEVER have a gun in my house.

Moreover, while it is true that bullies can kill with bats, knives, forks, their bare hands, etc, it is an undeniable fact that the easy availability of guns in America leads to a MUCH higher murder rate in this country than if those guns were not available.

It is highly unlikely that an untrained young man could walk into a classroom with a bat or a knife and murder 5 people--then himself!-- before being either overpowered or his intended victims fleeing. Put a couple of guns in his hands, however, and the feat is easy.

Guns--handguns, in particular, along with assault weapons and sawed-off shotguns--are tools specifically designed to KILL PEOPLE. And they do.


Brynn, you are missing my point which is: many educators have believed that they can solve the problem by having zero tolerance on anything remotely resembling a weapon at school. Hence the metal detectors, increased police presence on campuses, searches of backpacks, etc.

Very young students have actually been dragged off in handcuffs and booked because they brought something like a plastic knife in their lunch. This kind of policy is ridiculous when the kids who are the REAL problem are allowed to stay on at school after they've been noted as bullies.

And it only takes one kid with a baseball bat to kill another kid. Baseball bats don't kill people -- people do.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | February 17, 2008 8:26 PM

And Patricia, you are missing my point: by actually quoting the words of the NRA--a well-funded and and very connected organization that has fought tooth-and-nail against gun-control for decades--you are losing credibility and undermining your valid message, namely, that schools must be made safe with zero-tolerance of violence and bullying.

Re-phrasing the "Guns don't kill people" slogan to refer to baseball bats, as you do in your comment, is downright offensive to someone who has lost a loved one--or in my case, four loved ones--to gun violence. Can you not see that?

My cousin, who was shot to death in San Diego on her way to a job-interview (and the murder remains unsolved decades later) would not have been killed with a baseball bat. The type of crime in which a perpetrator uses a bat or knife is VERY different than someone who picks up a gun. Guns kill from a distance; bats and knives are much more personal. The killer has to get close enough to get bloody. Not to mention, the difficulty and rate of killing are very different with guns.

Guns DO KILL people. To say otherwise is quite simply a falsehood.

Brynn is right in that it does take away from a spectacular article. (Columbine, for example, wouldn't have happened if the boys had brought baseball bats to school instead of guns.)

Back to the point though, YOF is right that this should get much wider circulation.

And what Brynn misses is the fact that guns ALSO help to protect one's life.

If you take a look at most of the Hate Crimes profiles done by Terrence, most of those victims would not be dead if they had had a gun with which to scare off their assailants.

Furthermore, everybody focuses conveniently on the negative aspects of weapons. School shootings, massacres by the mentally insane. However, nobody takes the time to point out how many people retained their lives when burglars broke into their house because they had a weapon. Nobody takes the time to point out the case where the store clerk at a gas station-- a perennial target of criminals-- is able to forgo a traumatizing robbery because he was able to scare assailants away.

Brynn's background is moving, yes, but it is not the sole perspective to take into account when judging whether weapons should be regulated or not. Weapon regulations only hurt law-abiding citizens; the criminal that wants a gun will get one.

I don't think Patricia's article is degraded simply because she wields a different position from that of most "progressives".

Guns may make a murder/suicide attempt more likely to succeed, yes, but it would be short-sighted to address weapon availability instead of the root of the problem: The prevailing violent trait in American society.

Coming from Venezuela, where robberies run amok and abductions are not rare, I have yet to see such a big proportion of gun shootings at schools, massacres done by the mentally insane, and psychopathic cases in my country of birth. The gun regulations are far more lenient in Venezuela than they are here. Canada poses a similar example: Weapon regulations are very much lax, yet the rates of the aforementioned events are lower than in the U.S.

The problem we face here on the U.S. needs to be dealt with culturally, not with some knee-jerk legislative reaction.

We will have to agree to disagree. With all respect for your personal pain about a gun death in your family, I don't think gun control will work. Not because I like the NRA and the hunting lobby (I don't belong to either), but because I don't think that gun control will make our country any less violent.

Our growing violence against each other is being driven by massive population pressures and economic inequities, which are not going to be lessened one bit by making handguns and semi-automatic rifles illegal. In the absence of guns, people under these pressures will take it out on each other with any weapon that comes to hand. Like they do with their cars when road rage hits them.

The most crowded, superheated and violent venue in American society today is the average state prison or county jail. You won't find any handguns or rifles, except on the guards. But the inmates manage to put together all kinds of imaginative knives and zip guns, with which they maim and kill each other every day.

Making handguns and semi-automatics illegal will spur a huge traffic in illegal foreign-made guns -- no difference than the monstrous illegal traffic in drugs that we already have. My personal credibility is neither here nor there. Let's talk about the credibility of our government, which has failed abysmally to win the "war on drugs." Imagine if they were trying to win a "war on guns." The people who should not have handguns or semi-automatics will always be able to get them under the counter. In my opinion, you and I will then be facing a far worse situation with gun threats to our personal safety, and that of the people we love, than we do today.

But this discussion is getting very far from where it started. My original point was about priorities. I pointed out that many educators put a higher priority on removing weapons from schools than they put on removing the problem kids. I never said that I was okay with guns coming to school. What I actually said was -- remove the problem kids from the schools, and you'll have a better chance of keeping the guns from coming in the door.

Back in high school, I was one of the picked on and bullied students, and the school did nothing to help me. I guess they all saw it as a "rite of passage" or some such for me. I just know that it scarred me very deeply, and made me a very bitter person for many years afterwards. I guess I am lucky that this was the 70's, and the violence was held to the threat of being beaten up, rather than shot.

I still think that the killers parents should be held as co-defendents and tried with him, for allowing him access to the gun.

MauraHennessey | February 18, 2008 9:30 AM

First of all, I fully support Ms. Warren's characterization of the death of Lawrence King. This was NOT simply another murder; this was an assasination. Every time a political cycle rolls around the right begins preaching anti-queeer rhetoric, the death rate amongst our people goes up because the threshold for violence changes.

Ireland has a campaign in its schools that could never be done in the states; it is everywhere in the halls and classrooms and is very clear "She(or he)'s Gay and it's cool with us." The bottom of the posters says that "homophobic bullying is NOT acceptable in our school"

http://www.belongto.org/images/schools/GirlPoster_small.JPG

Schools in the US will comtimue to be the torture chamber of many LGBT children til the milieu is overtly pro tolerance, not just a microcosm of prejudice with the occasional quiet and unseen intervention of administrators.

Lawrence King was assasinated because the right preaches against us, daemonizes us, and refuses to allow our schools to present a message that harrassing us us overtly, by and large illegal in the adult world, is also forbidden in the halls of the "academy"

Patricia: I was also a volunteer at the Eagles school in Los Angeles back from March 1998 until December 1998. One of the former students was murdered with a shotgun in August 2004.

At some point, a national leader will emerge from all of this who will unite the LGBT community and demand an end to this violence once and for all. And, then do something about it.

Teasing leads to bullying leads to violence leads to murder. We need a zero tolerance of teasing of gender variant and gay students to stop it before it escalates. Schools, parents and yes, even churches, must be made aware of their responsibility to end it.

Are some right wing bigotted church leaders responsible for the murder of Lawrence King?
I believe they are.

Are the schools responsible for not doing enough to protect these children? I believe they are.

Was the murderer of Lawrence King taught at home that it was okay to hate gender variant children? I don't know, but he wasn't taught not to hate. Where did he get the weapon?

Sit down and type the list of names on the Day of Remembrance list - names, dates, places, how murdered. If you can do it for more than 20 minutes at a time, you are stronger than I am. I couldn't do it. Tragedy after tragedy after tragedy. It's heartbreaking.

And, it just has to end. Somehow, it has to end.

The days for apathy are over. Wake up and get angry about this. Who's next?

last night, i watched a movie on television about a young man who pleaded guilty to robbery/murder, rather than admit that he was gay. the man he killed was part of a mob that had just murdered a man he loved, and the murder for which he was accused was actually an act of self defense. the young man was a little effiminate and black, the bigot he killed was butch and white. in the end, the young man hung himself in his cell, minutes before he was to be executed in the electric chair. he hoped his father would finally respect him for being a man. i have to tell you i was a slobbering emotional mess by the end of that film. (Blind Faith)

our young people have to be given the message that they have value, that they deserve respect, that they deserve equality. they deserve a piece of the american dream. today, for the most part, i think that young people are getting that message. they totally believe in it. there are still hold outs, and there is still bigotry - but nothing on the scale of when i was a child. this change in society did not just happen. it came as a result of our struggle for equality. it came as a result of the civil rights and the LGBT rights movement. they are one and the same. we all deserve equality.

i feel strongly that now is the time to fulfill that promise to our youth. it is time to declare our humanity and to demand full rights. for ourselves, yes, but for our youth - without hesitation. LGBT unity. Equality. Now.

Indeed, it is time for school administrations to stop listening to all the anti-gay churchy fanatics who actually want the threat of death or maiming at school to lie in wait for all the Lawrence Kings out there. The religious right, from Sheldon and other leaders right down to local groups who harass school boards and principals, share a real responsibility for Lawrence King’s death. I view them as the most despicable kind of clique – they are adults with enormous social and political power who egg kids to commit acts of violence by telling them that God hates their victims.

Patricia, your paragraph above hits the nail on the head when characterizing the situation here in Indiana.

In recent years we have managed to pass some anti-bullying legislation, plus establish some very good voluntary anti-bullying programs.

But we have found that presenting the issue as "generic bullying" is more effective than mentioning gender and sexual orientation issues. We've found that bringing those issues to the forefront only empowers the ultra-conservative "Christians" to adamantly insist that "I have a Constitutional right to teach my children to hate sissies and fags" or some similar perverse argument. Even more frightening, the numbers cause the politicians to listen.

So maybe the rest of America will forgive us for not being yelling, screaming, in-your-face gay activists ... but it's called "Doing what works".

P.S. Supposedly by state law, the law enforcement arm is supposed to be maintaining hate crime stats --- including state-wide stats on crimes involving sexual orientation and gender issues. But I have never been able to obtain such stats, and often I'm dismissed with the response, "Our state doesn't have much of a problem in this regard."

Reformed Ascetic | February 25, 2008 10:54 AM

Thanks, this was a beautiful article and needs to be read by more people.

I grew up in a very conservative part of the country. Things like racism and homophobia were common fair. Guns were, and still, are commonplace. Almost every boy I went to school with openly carried a pocket knife as a sign of their manhood from early in elementary school. Teasing and fighting for all sorts of reasons were common. Bullying was discouraged by the adults in general, but in part it was discouraged by getting any bullied boys to fight back physically.

The means to escalate fights to a dangerous level were common, but no one would have ever thought to make use of them. As much as the social codes we were taught enforced things like homophobia, even worse was to be seen fighting in a dishonorable way, verbally or physically. To stand up for yourself in a physical fight with a bully and lose would get you respect, but for someone to even pick on another who was perceived to be weaker, God forbid even threatening to use a weapon, would risk losing the respect of everyone.

During my time, the girls had slightly different rules, but not that different.

I honestly believe the violence directed against LGBT young people is no accident. If you listen closely to the social/religious conservatives who rant about the growing tolerance for LGBT people, you begin to understand what they are saying. The threat of violence and persecution to LGBT young people is important to them. Not that they care about those young people at all. What they are concerned with is their own young people understanding the horrors in store for them if they come out. They teach their sons and daughters that LGBT kids should be persecuted and violated to try to keep them from "choosing" to be gay. The threat of being labeled "gay" has long been a social control for the behaviors of young people. They are teaching their children that LGBT people deserve whatever ill treatment they receive. I think many adults fear they won't be able to shape their children the way they want without the threat of the gay label.

As the public virulence grows without other social rules to keep it in check, surely it can't come as any surprise that this is spilling out into real violence in the classroom. You put a child who has been taught this in a situation where he or she fears they might suddenly be labeled as part of that community they have been taught to hate and their fear can lead them to do anything to avoid that fate.

While prejudice was at least as common in my childhood environment as anywhere else, we were all taught that we had a personal honor and reputation. We were all taught that the way we treated others would effect our standing in the community. We were all taught to carry ourselves as people worthy of respect and to treat others the same. We were all taught that no one could take your self-respect, but that it was easy to lose on your own.

I still have many problems with the local religious community of my childhood, but as conservative and rural as they were, they all would have stood up against the mistreatment of any child in school. No adult would have tolerated even the chance that any child might be injured by another, and every parent, whatever their private politics, would have stood up against it if someone had been.

I not saying it was the best system, it most definitely wasn't, but no children, LGBT or not, were ever physically injured. And as bad as things were for LGBT kids, certainly no one ever got killed. There were known LGBT children, but even the most conservative adults made sure they were physically safe, if not emotionally.

Lucrece, please before you start quoting statistics in another country, please do your research. I believe that before columbine we had a higher rate of students killed in massacres... in fact it might still be higher.

As for saying that the religious are the problem (in the main article) we aren't all that way. Some of us are trying to take the hate out. We were called to love our neighbor with no strings attatched. Just love. There are many of us who are horrified that this could happen, and frightened that it could happen to our LGBT friends. We are also embarrassed by people who call themselves Chrsitian and preach hate. Even the love the sinner hate the sin phrase bothers me on so many levels that to get into them here would take up a lot of space (and it isn't relevant). It said love your neighbor, nothing else needed to be said.

Relevant to the topic: No one for any reason, deserves to be murdered!

Ja'Corey Young | April 23, 2008 7:54 AM

its so sad athat a young boy can take anothers young boy life just because of his sexuality.. but to me he died wit pride because he showed everyone he didnt care about what they say he loved himslef they way he was...if it came down to it i would die before i change who i am being bisexual is what i want and like King i dont have to prove myself why im gay just be who i am...
R.I.P Lawrence "Larry" King

gone but never forgotten

don't be too sure it will be ruled premeditated. There has yet to be a trial. Secondly, i find it offensive that most people refuse to acknowledge the strong possibility that Lawrence King was transgendered and not homosexual. That is the same as ignoring the truth.