Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

Slain Calif. Teen: Hate-Crime Victim?
by Amy Wooten
2008-02-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


The young, gay victim of a California school shooting has died after allegedly being shot by a 14-year-old classmate because of his sexual orientation and gender expression.

A classmate shot junior high school student Lawrence King, 15, in the head Feb. 12. King was pronounced brain-dead the following afternoon. Charges have been filed to investigate the matter as a hate crime. The attacker will be charged with murder.

The eighth-grade, openly gay student was shot by a classmate at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, Calif. Ventura County Star reported that King suffered a massive stroke Feb. 13, causing his brain to die.

The Los Angeles Times reported that friends of King say he identified as gay, and occasionally wore make-up and feminine clothing. He was also harassed at his school, according to Equality California.

Authorities are investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime.

LGBT students are often victims of bullying and harassment. LGBT students are more likely to be threatened with a weapon and feel unsafe at school, according to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network's ( GLSEN's ) Web site. LGBT California students are five times more likely to report being threatened or injured with a weapon, according to a survey conducted by the California Department of Education.

Many LGBT organizations have released statements highlighting that anti-gay harassment and violence in the classrooms and hallways need to stop.

'With young people coming out at younger ages, our school—especially our junior highs and middle school—need to be proactive about teaching respect for diversity based on sexual orientation and gender identity,' said Gay-Straight Alliance Network Executive Director Carolyn Laub in a statement released by the organization. 'The tragic death of Lawrence King is a wake-up call for our schools to better protect students from harassment at school. As a society, we can prevent this kind of violence from happening.'

California has laws that aim to protect LGBT students. On Jan. 1, a California law ( The California Student Civil Rights Act ) went into effect; this statute protects students from harassment and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Another law, The California Student Safety and Violence Prevention Act, went into effect in 2000.

In a statement, Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, said the organization is proud that California has such laws, but 'the sad reality is that even with these protections, violence against gay and gender non-conforming students happens all too often. We must address the culture of bullying in our schools to ensure that all youth have safe places to learn.'

The executive director of GLSEN, Kevin Jennings, called the incident 'senseless' in a recent statement. 'As a nation, we've had our heads in the sand for far too long,' he said. 'We need to do everything we can to prevent something like this from happening again.'

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Debra Chasnoff, whose work includes the film That's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School, called the tragedy a 'horrific reminder' that violence and bullying of LGBT students continues. 'We wish we could say we're come a long way since 1998 when Matthew Shepard was murdered when he was in college just because he was gay. But now, similarly-motivated hate crimes are occurring in middle schools.'

'This terrible incident underscores the fact that we cannot let hate go unchecked in our schools and communities,' Judy Shepard, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation and mother of hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard, said in a statement released by GLSEN. 'Our young people need our direction and guidance to prevent this type of crime from happening. I urge all parents and teachers to educate their children and students about acceptance, understanding and compassion.'

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force also recently released a statement. 'Right now we don't know exactly how anti-gay hate expressed itself in the murder of Lawrence King, said executive director Matt Foreman. 'We do know is that he was harassed on a daily basis because of his sexual orientation and gender expression. We do know that adults at his junior high school did not stop it and that kind of tolerance of anti-gay bigotry is pervasive in our nation's schools. Our hearts go out to Lawrence's family—and to all young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender kids who are— right now, right this minute—being bullied and beaten in school while adults look the other way.'

King is being memorialized through events as well as words. On Feb. 19, the San Francisco LGBT Community Center—in conjunction with several other organizations, including Community United Against Violence and the Transgender Law Center—was slated to hold a candlelight vigil. And on Feb. 15, the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance sponsored a vigil at the Art Barn that was attended by approximately 100 people, according to the Ventura County Star. On Feb. 16, approximately 1,000 Oxnard youths and supporters took part in a march that paid tribute to King, according to the Los Angeles Times.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Aurora garden damage seen as possible hate crime 2020-09-02
- In Aurora, a garden that included a shed painted rainbow colors to support the LGBTQ community was destroyed recently after someone smashed it with a pickup truck—and local authorities are viewing the attack as a possible ...


Gay News

Annual event spotlights trans lives lost 2020-08-30
- On Aug. 30, Valerie Griffin celebrated the life of her daughter—Dejanay Stanton, a trans woman of color—with an annual summer get-together billed as "The Main Event Part 2." The event, in its second year, was also ...


Gay News

MOVIES 'Disarm Hate' features LGBTQ+ gun-control activists after massacre 2020-08-18
- Narrated by the iconic actor Harvey Fierstein, the film Disarm Hate seeks to create awareness about gun violence against the LGBTQ+ community following the 2016 Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando that took 49 lives as the ...


Gay News

Smollett indicted on new charges 2020-02-11
- Embattled actor Jussie Smollett has been indicted on new criminal charges nearly a year after Cook County prosecutors dropped disorderly-conduct counts against him for allegedly arranging a racist, homophobic attack ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Backlash in Tennessee, judge dies, voucher program, hate-crimes bill 2020-02-11
- More than 140 businesses signed a letter announcing their opposition to Tennessee's recent slew of anti-LGBTQ laws, which has been dubbed the "slate of hate" by activist groups, NBC News noted. The collective, known as the ...


Gay News

FBI report shows rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes 2019-11-12
- The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) released its annual report on hate crimes in the United States, finding that 2018 saw a rise in anti-LGBTQ hate crimes across the nation—up nearly a percent when compared to ...


Gay News

LETTER Response to hate 2019-10-30
- Dear Editor: God's presence is always reflected in us. As a person of faith, I believe in Jesus Christ. No wonder this generation is starving for the community, connection and relationship when we see attacks on ...


Gay News

WORLD Pride events, UK hate crime stats, lesbian Colombian politician 2019-10-29
- Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets of Taipei for the 17th annual pride parade, with organizers expecting a record turnout after the Taiwan government became the first in Asia to pass same-sex marriage ...


Gay News

New report details network of organizations working against LGBT rights 2019-10-10
- (Washington, DC) Today, Accountable for Equality released a new report that outlines the vast and broad network of state and national organizations working to eradicate equal rights for LGBT Americans. The report, titled Blocking Progress & ...


Gay News

Reports: Would-be Vegas bomber targeted Jewish, LGBTQ communities 2019-08-10
- A man who authorities say worked as a security guard was arrested and accused of plotting to firebomb a Las Vegas synagogue or a LGBTQ-centered nightclub/bar, CBS News reported. An FBI-led anti-terrorism task force arrested Las ...


Gay News

LGBT flags vandalized at Wicker Park church 2019-06-26
- Police are investigating a possible hate crime after a message was spray-painted on an LGBT flag at Wicker Park Lutheran Church, 1500 N. Hoyne Ave., WGN-TV reported. Surveillance video shows the vandal armed with spray paint ...


Gay News

Barrington community members show support after hate crime 2019-06-11
- Local politicians and Barrington residents were among those who registered support the evening of June 10 at a meeting of the Barrington village board in support of a gay student whose house had been vandalized. Police ...


Gay News

Student bullied in Barrington, Commissioner Morrison responds 2019-06-10
- ELK GROVE, Ill. —June 10, 2019—Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison calls on residents to support one another amidst recent bullying and harassment of an LGBTQ youth in Barrington. Commissioner Morrison said, "We must all work ...


Gay News

Gay teens claim bias by Big Boy Gyros 2019-05-29
- Two teens from Lane Tech High School—Kendall Anderson and Peder Sevig—have accused Big Boy Gyros, 3541 N. Western Ave., of anti-LGBT discrimination stemming from an alleged incident involving a hug between the couple at the restaurant ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Presidential candidates, Truth Awards, Chick-fil-A, hate crimes 2019-03-26
- Democratic presidential hopefuls will speak about their views and policy platforms regarding LGBTQ rights at a debate at UCLA on Oct. 10—the eve of National Coming Out Day, NBC News reported. UCLA's Luskin School of Public ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs     
Privacy Policy      Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.