Brandon McInerney, 17 is charged with murder and a hate crime in connection with the death of gay student Larry King. Both boys attended O.C. Green Middle School three years ago at the time of the murder.
As the trial unfolds in its fifth week, more data is being disclosed about the McInerney family, the behavior of Larry King and the poor oversight exercised by the E.O. Green Middle School staff. Most significant is the more we learn about the players in this senseless crime, the more we are faced with the lack of values in our society and how it has hurt us.
Special Privileges Given to Minority Groups Have Backfired
Larry King, according to Susan Crowley, King's seventh-grade special education teacher, "desperately wanted to be liked, but he didn't have the social skills to get along with his peers." King showed up to her class wearing a pink scarf. When he was told to remove it, he defiantly came to school the next day wearing jewelry and makeup.
Crowley surmised King's flamboyant clothing was designed "to draw negative attention to himself." She remarked that former Assistant Principal Joy Epstein was not being truthful when she claimed King's behavior was being adequately addressed by the school staff and according to Epstein "only a small minority of people were bothered by King's clothing". We find out from additional testimony that Epstein's perspective is sadly skewed.
E. O. Green Middle School is a California public school - not a place to display or "test case" one's sexual orientation. Larry King did not come to school for the education but to educate others about gay rights in the way he behaved.
During Monday's trial, Crowley was asked if she thought Assistant Principal Epstein, a lesbian, empowered King. Crowley answered yes.
Since King's feminine dress was well known among teacher and administrators, it's evident Epstein ignored the complaints about the disruptive behavior King was causing. Why? She provided special privileges to a child that was of her same sexual persuasion.
E. O. Green's Assistant Principal was acting out of self interest as a gay person, She was more concerned with the issue of "gay rights" than performing her job as an educator and administrator.
Another teacher, Shirley Brown, a seventh grade instructor, argued in court Epstein was not addressing the issue of King's behavior and its impact on students.
Epstein put her gay lifestyle first. How tragic that she could not see King as a human being crying out for help.
To make matters worse, Jill Ekman, King's seventh=grade English teacher tried to get King to not call so much attention to himself. When she saw King wearing makeup in the eight grade, she told him to remove it.
To no avail, King came to class the next day wearing more makeup. King claimed Assistant Principal Epstein had given him permission to wear the makeup. She told him it was within his constitutional rights to do so.
Face it, Larry King was pushing his homosexual identity in the faces of his fellow student and a lesbian Assistant Vice Principal was backing him up.
An email was also sent out from the school office instructing teachers that Larry King's attire was allowed. The email directed E. O. Green teachers to instruct their students to become more tolerant. This did not stop King from disrupting other students.
What if a heterosexual girl came to school exposing herself and trying to grab attention. She'd be disciplined.
Gay rights within the context of a school or working environment stop at the door where certain rules are ignored to make one's homosexuality the central focus. This is not homophobic, but an observation of the behavior of Larry King and the failure of the school to treat him like any other student.
Sexual Harassment Even by A Gay Person is Not to be Tolerated
Larry King took his sexual orientation another step further than just his clothing.
Jill Ekman told the court that the boys in the Middle School were having problems with King. The boys who had any connection with King were being called gay. At a time in the life of a young man when masculine identity is important being called gay can be devastating. Like it or not, this is how it is in Middle School. No amount of taxpayer financed, state supported classes in the public school about homosexuality are going to change that,.Boys will be boys.
In another incident Ekman explained there was a rumor going around the school that King asked McInerney to be his valentine. She also pointed out boys complained to her that King was chasing them into the bathroom. King laughed when the teacher warned him that his behavior was inappropriate. Emboldened by the Assistant Vice Principal, King felt his behavior was acceptable.
Ekman went to Epstein to complain about King's advances towards other boys [aka sexual harassment], but Epstein closed the door on her informing the teacher there was nothing she could do about it.
Regardless of Epstein's personal sexuality, she has a duty to take any reports of sexual harassments or unwanted sexual advances among the students seriously.
This is how far our culture has come with the issue of gay rights. People are afraid to comment when a person's rights turn into privileges that break rules everyone else must adhere to. Even in a case where a gay student is sexually harassing his peers is being ignored.
No one will ever know how much the special treatment afforded to Larry King was a contributing factor leading to his tragic shooting.