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Documentary About The Murder Of Lawrence King Shows Teachers, Jurors Sympathized With His Killer: VIDEO

Jurors

On Monday night HBO aired Valentine Road, a documentary of the murder of high schooler Lawrence "Larry" King by his classmate Brandon McInerney. Some of the clips available from the show are positively gut-wrenching, particularly when King's former 7th grade teacher Shirley Brown says, without an ounce of shame, that:

"When he asked me what to do about the situation [of his orientation], my response to him was, 'Nothing! What to do about the situation is 'nothing,' and to keep it private, and to dwell upon on it.' Larry shouldn't have expressed himself so blatantly, openly transexual."

He came to her for help, and Ms. Brown tried instead to make him feel shame.

Arguably worse are the attitudes of some of the jurors who can't seem to quite grasp the gravity of the crime of one student murdering another, clucking amongst themselves as if McInerney was an 8-year-old child who had gotten into a fight rather than a 14-year-old young adult who deliberately killed his classmate. They also seem intent on making sure that King bore some of the responsibility for his own murder. Said jurors Diane Michaels and Karen McElhaney to each other:

"Where are the civil rights of the one being taunted by another person who is cross-dressing? They have to address that, it's very important. No, it wasn't addressed, and he had no one he could turn to because the school was so pro-Larry King's civil rights. But where was Brandon's civil rights?"
"It was the high heels, I think it was the makeup, the behavior..."
"Because Marina..."
"Yes, she had a girlfriend, they were told not to hold hands in school, so they stopped."
"She got it."
"Exactly."
"And Larry didn't get it. And had he followed her example..."
"We wouldn't be here today."

It's remarkable they didn't blame King for the gun being loaded. The video clips are tough to watch, but if you have the stomach for them, you can see both of the clips quoted above over at Gawker.

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Comments

  1. @TheDrDonna:

    First you claim that I posted something about recruitment and fascism. Then, when called out, you throw in the towel on argument, even while you take the time to call me names. Well, as long as we are name calling, you are intellectually dishonest and shallow.

    @Mark:

    I am gay and I have experienced bullying. So sorry not to fit your preconceived notions. Again, not one person is saying that the homicide was justified. It wasn't. Just because folks point out truths about the victim does not mean that they endorse the crime.


    Posted by: Steve | Oct 10, 2013 12:10:35 AM


  2. This is to Steve.

    First off, I'm not going to bash you since that's EXACTLY what you are looking for. Obviously you knew you were going to ruffle some feathers with your comments and you succeeded. Good job.

    However, my first question to you is have you actually seen the documentary? I mean the ENTIRE documentary, because I seriously suggest you do before you start making any more comments about Larry King.

    "Just because folks point out truths about the victim does not mean that they endorse the crime."

    And just what folks are you talking about? What are these actual "truths" that you know that no one else here does? Did you know Larry or Brandon personally? Again, I am not trying to bash you here or make fun of you. The reason why I am asking you these questions is because I have noticed that there are many people out there (straight and gay) who are truly convinced that Larry is mostly to blame because he "sexually harassed" Brandon. But in the film, the only people who claim that Larry harassed Brandon is Brandon's defence team. You can also read Marta Cunningham's interview here where she talks a little bit about it...
    http://variety.com/2013/film/news/qa-valentine-road-director-marta-cunningham-on-her-hbo-doc-1200705725/

    I mean, I find that quite interesting. Even the homophobic teacher, Shirley Brown, doesn't seem to mention any sexual harassment caused by Larry. She talks about how openly "transsexual" he was and you can tell by looking at her at how disgusted she is by gay people. She even talks about how she understands why Brandon did what he did. She even implies that Larry is in hell. So why wouldn't she, out of all people, mention any sexual harassment caused by Larry? Because it probably did not happen in my opinion.

    But hey, it's my opinion and you are clearly entitled to yours. But I honestly think you (along with many other gay men) are transphobic though. That's a shame.

    Posted by: Jamie | Oct 10, 2013 1:56:43 AM


  3. Problem with that, Stevey, is that you aren't pointing out truths. You're asserting that a young child who let it be known that he had a crush on another child bares culpability in his own murder.

    You can repeat "obviously what McInerney did was wrong" all you like. The rest of what you type clearly belies that you don't find that obvious or true, at all.

    Posted by: FFS | Oct 10, 2013 1:58:14 AM


  4. @Steve:
    You: "He was clearly caught up in transgender behavior"
    Anti gay bigot Tom Mcmillin: "Caught up in the homosexual lifestyle"

    You: "Like a lot of trans people, King had poor judgment"
    The American Family Association: "Homosexuality is a poor and dangerous choice, and has been proven to lead to a litany of health hazards"

    You look like a bigot, you quack like a bigot. Evidence says you are a bigot.

    Posted by: Thedrdonna | Oct 10, 2013 1:58:25 AM


  5. Just saw this movie. So well done, you see both sides of the story. Hear from Brandon's family, Larry's friends, teachers on both sides, the jurors, prosecutors and defense attorneys. Highly recommended, though it may, nay, will piss you off.

    Posted by: Kevin G | Oct 10, 2013 3:32:55 AM


  6. For those empathizing with Brandon, realize he could have filed a sexual harassment charge against Larry. Putting two bullets point blank to the back of his head is a far cry from trying to stop the situation. If the teachers, educators thought Larry was at risk then either of the students should have moved to another school. In fact, Brandon couldn't get his friends to go along with hurting Larry

    Posted by: Kevin G | Oct 10, 2013 3:35:04 AM


  7. DISGUSTING AWFUL VILE HETEROS...

    May each of these jurors and teachers get HORRIFIC karma!

    Posted by: Micah | Oct 10, 2013 8:22:01 AM


  8. I think the adults are responsible and Brandon was punished for their absolute failings.

    And because of what happened they adults who are still teaching haven't changed, all that happened is that a little kid is locked up and will come out a hardened criminal with white supremacist.

    A society that thinks it is ok to try 14 year olds as adults can never hope to develop tolerance.

    BTW I am gay.

    Posted by: Jim | Oct 10, 2013 12:30:56 PM


  9. I want to apologize to everyone for my incredibly stupid posts. I have to explain myself - I'm a very insecure gay man who was beaten regularly by my parents when they caught me having sex with a neighbor boy when I was in my early teens. He was clearly much younger than me, but he was also effeminate and he provoked me into doing it. Because of this incident, I continue to get angry at effeminate gays.

    So, once again, I apologize for my hateful and stupid posts. I wrote what I wrote because I'm rather messed up.

    Posted by: Steve | Oct 10, 2013 12:41:57 PM


  10. These people don't have a good understanding and seem to have difficulty putting themselves in the shoes of another. From what I experienced in high school I can tell you that it doesn't matter how out you are. Kids can just smell it and they'll pick you apart for it because American youth are very very cruel people for some reason or another.

    Posted by: Corey Lovins | Oct 10, 2013 12:44:45 PM


  11. "Apology" post above is not from me. I stand by everything I said.

    TheDrDonna:

    So you've dropped the recruitment/fascism charge and are now complaining that I said "caught up in transgender behavior" and made a point about lack of judgment. On the first point, "transgender" includes unconventional gender expression, which is behavior. So there is nothing anti-trans about referring to transgender behavior. I refer to that behavior instead of just referring to King as a transgirl, because I don't know for a fact that he identified that way, which is also why I refer to King as he. Ironic that I have more respect for King's identity than you do.

    As for a lot of trans people having a lack of judgment especially when it comes to risk assessment, that happens to be true. Not all, but a lot. Deal with it.

    @Jamie:

    Thank you for not bashing me. I shouldn't have to thank you for basic civility, but on Towleroad, it is a rare gift. It would have been better had you made it all the way to the end of your comment without giving in to the need to label me and other people as "phobic". Deal with arguments, not with pseudo-psychological diagnoses.

    The harassment was reported in the LA Times when the story initially broke. The LAT also reported that the school had encouraged King to crossdress and did nothing as he taunted McInerney, probably fearing that they would be accused by people like you of "transphobia." If they had stepped in and told both King and McInerney to have no communication, this whole thing could have been avoided.

    Posted by: Steven | Oct 10, 2013 2:03:55 PM


  12. Steven,

    It's interesting how you are telling me and others here to "deal with it", but you clearly cannot "deal with it" when someone has good reason to believe you're transphobic. Pseudo-psychology has nothing to do with it. Your comments did come off as pretty ignorant. TheDrDonna, and a few others here, cleverly pointed that out.

    I think I know about that LA Times article you are talking about. I'm pretty sure it's the one Towleroad posted a couple years ago about some of the teachers testifying on behalf of the defence. Is it this one?
    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/11/local/la-me-0811-gay-student-20110811

    The school did not "encourage" Larry to cross dress or wear makeup. Because of a law that passed, it was his right to wear makeup and jewellery if he chose. The school, for legal reasons, couldn't stop him.

    I do agree with you though that Larry taunted Brandon at times, but I do not believe it was sexual harassment. From what other students have stated in different articles, Larry would fight back by taunting Brandon after Brandon and his friends bullied him. Basically, they started picking on him and he would get so upset that he reacted.

    "If they had stepped in and told both King and McInerney to have no communication, this whole thing could have been avoided."

    Actually if the school promoted tolerance and understanding a whole lot more, which they didn't do at all, this whole thing could have been avoided.

    I know you and I could probably argue back and forth forever on this topic, but again I have to ask if you have seen Valentine Road in its entirety? If not, you really need to.

    Posted by: Jamie | Oct 11, 2013 2:34:08 AM


  13. Actually, I take back the part where I said the school didn't promote tolerance and understanding at all because there was one teacher, Dawn Boldrin, who tried to do just that.

    Posted by: Jamie | Oct 11, 2013 2:45:07 AM


  14. Gay, Transgender, confused, whatever his case was.. This kid DID NOT deserve to die because of it. He was only 15 years old.. He had a life ahead of him. It's heartbreaking.

    Posted by: Hazel | Oct 14, 2013 10:35:37 AM


  15. Gay, Transgender, confused, whatever his case was.. This kid DID NOT deserve to die because of it. He was only 15 years old.. He had a life ahead of him. It's heartbreaking.

    Posted by: Hazel | Oct 14, 2013 10:35:38 AM


  16. Larry the queer should have never been allowed to wear makeup or women's clothes at school. The school system enabled this killing and this issue should have been addressed; however, the killer should have just whipped his ass instead of shooting him. But you know that queers have a way of bringing out the worst in any class of people.

    Posted by: Michael | Oct 22, 2013 3:49:23 PM


  17. @ "But you know that queers have a way of bringing out the worst in any class of people."

    I should remember that after a discussion has ended for more than a week that a f.cking lunatic may find his way to this blog.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Oct 22, 2013 3:58:11 PM


  18. This boy in no way deserved to be shot and killed duh. The taunting by the victim does not justify the killing however for someone to respond to it by shooting the person taunting in that way makes me wonder about what he went through as a boy. I wouldnt be suprised to find out he was molested and this taunting brought up unbareable feelings.

    Posted by: Jessica | Oct 27, 2013 9:40:34 AM


  19. This boy in no way deserved to be shot and killed duh. The taunting by the victim does not justify the killing however for someone to respond to it by shooting the person taunting in that way makes me wonder about what he went through as a boy. I wouldnt be suprised to find out he was molested and this taunting brought up unbareable feelings.

    Posted by: Jessica | Oct 27, 2013 9:40:34 AM


  20. I cannot believe how much I want to smack those women with their cheap wine and shove their ignorance up their asses. I have never wanted to tell off someone so badly in my life. The teachers and administration should all be fired...and I am a teacher. How dare they impress such narrow-minded beliefs on children? Injustice is an understatement.

    Posted by: Cfrench | Jan 22, 2014 5:07:25 PM


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