Tuesday, August 19, 2008

School Responsible
For Gay Boy’s Death?

A gay junior high school student was shot and killed in school last February by a fellow classmate because of a variety of reasons it turns out. And now his parents want to sue the school district for not enforcing the dress code when the boy was dressing in women’s attire.

In fact, the whole case has been riddled with drama from the beginning: The victim, Lawrence “Larry” King, allegedly came from a broken home. His mother was a drug abuser and his father was gone, according to a Newsweek article. It seems as if he was adopted by Greg and Dawn King at age 2 and at age 15 Larry King was living at a group home at the time of his death due to alleged problems with Greg King, according to the Newsweek article.

His alleged murderer, Brandon McInerney, 14, killed him because either there was a confrontation between the two boys or simply because King was gay. McInerney has been charged as an adult for King’s murder.

Certainly, that’s the sad part. Now here comes the astounding part:

The parents of Larry King, who attended E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Ca., are suing the school district for not enforcing the school dress code when their son would wear makeup and feminine clothing to school.

Granted, these are grieving parents of a 15-year-old boy and no parent could imagine what type of hell that is, losing a son who was murdered possibly because of his sexual orientation.

But it really cheapens King’s death even more so by suing the school district for not enforcing the dress code. But according to the California Attorney General’s Office, the school couldn’t stop King from wearing women’s jewelry or makeup because the state has a hate-crime law that prevents gender discrimination.

Clearly, the Kings should have been the ones responsible for how Larry King dressed, not the school. The school was caught up in a politically correct legal web, thus it could not enforce any school code on Larry King. Yet, today’s parents seem to believe that teachers and school officials should also play the role of “parent” when it comes to their children. But that is a role only reserved for them and it shouldn’t be handed to anyone else.

Yes, Larry King did not come from an ideal home and he was living in a group home at the time of his death. Clearly, this is not a typical living arrangement. But his parents were able to reach him and instruct him.

Teenagers face growing difficulties with each passing generation. And while it’s commendable that society is becoming more accepting to gay Americans, that acceptance is not carried out by most teenagers, who are still trying to find their way in the world.

Regardless of gender discrimination laws and dress codes, someone should have told Larry King of the consequences of dressing inappropriately in middle school and that person should have been one of his parents.

But let’s not forget who is solely responsible for Larry King’s death and that is his alleged killer.