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Remembering Lawrence King

Remembering Lawrence King

CNN host Anderson Cooper just blogged about a shooting at a junior high school computer lab in California that happened two weeks ago. Consequently, as a result of a hate crime, 15-year-old Lawrence King was shot to death.

Anderson, 40, posed the question, “When does bullying become a hate crime?” Here’s his entry:

“We are focusing on a story that hasn’t received the attention it deserves. The story is about a young man named Lawrence King. He was 15 years old. On the morning of Feb 12, a classmate of Lawrence’s allegedly walked into the computer lab in front of some two dozen other students and shot Lawrence in the head. He was declared brain dead later at the hospital. According to authorities, this was not a random killing, it was a hate crime. Lawrence had recently told people he was gay, and apparently wore clothing that was viewed as effeminate. According to many accounts he had been bullied repeatedly, and some parents have even claimed students knew of threats to Lawrence’s life. At this point it doesn’t seem clear how much school officials knew of the bullying, but a full investigation needs to be done. If this had been an African-American student bullied by a teenage skinhead would it have received more attention? Would school officials have taken it more seriously if it had been a Christian campus leader attacked by another student because of his/her religious beliefs? I don’t have the answers to those questions, but I do think they are worth asking. Bullying is a problem in schools across the country. We’ve seen this time and time again. Is enough being done to stop it?”

In response to this hate crime, both Democratic presidential candidates released statements regarding this tragic event:

Said Hillary Clinton, “I was deeply saddened by the recent death of 15-year-old Lawrence King who was killed at his school in Oxnard, CA. No one should face intimidation or violence, particularly at school, because of their sexual orientation or the way they express their gender identity.We must finally enact a federal hate crimes law to ensure that gay, lesbian and transgender Americans are protected against violent, bias-motivated crimes. We must send a unified message that hate-based crime will not be tolerated.”

Barack Obama is on the same page, adding, “It was heartbreaking to learn about Lawrence King’s death, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. King’s senseless death is a tragic example of the corrosive effect that bigotry and fear can have in our society. It’s also an urgent reminder that we need to do more in our schools to foster tolerance and an acceptance of diversity; that we must enact a federal hate crimes law that protects all LGBT Americans; and that we must recommit ourselves to becoming active and engaged parents, citizens and neighbors, so that bias and bigotry cannot take hold in the first place. We all have a responsibility to help this nation live up to its founding promise of equality for all.”

The L.A. Times also has a write-up of last week’s memorial service for King: “At a memorial attended by more than 500 people in Port Hueneme, Lawrence “Larry” King was remembered Friday as a sensitive child who liked to draw, paint and crochet. One Christmas, he helped his mother crochet hundreds of scarves so that U.S. troops in Afghanistan wouldn’t be without a holiday gift.”

You can also visit the website that King’s family set up: RememberLarry.com.

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: AP Photo
Posted to: Anderson Cooper, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton

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  • kay

    anderson is right. this act of bullying is definitely a hate crime and the media needs to pay attention.. if it had been an issue of race or gender or religion, we would be hearing about this non stop

    and just to put this out there: TEAM BARACK

  • goz

    yeah and the fact that he was being bullyied beacuse of being gay just makes it worse! this has to stop! they are or were kids! just 15 years old!

  • natalie

    Hearing about these hate crimes literally makes me sick to my stomach.. . I dont know how or why people can kill another human being, and just because of their race or sexual orientation. Just nauseating.

    I hope his family can find some kind of comfort. Bless them

  • Britt

    This was a big story out here in CA. I had no idea it was not a national story. It was such a horrible and senseless crime. (BTW you have Florida listed as the location in the intro.)

  • jo

    I cannot believe this happened. You are entitled to your own opinion but that does not give anyone the right to go about and shoot people because of their belief. Can America see the violence that is happening in schools? Bullying even in the smallest form has a great impact on how that kid grows up (that includes verbal abuse). I found that a lot of the bullied kids grow up to be socially disengaged and are more prone to depression.

  • rini

    “African-American student bullied by a teenage skinhead would it have received more attention?”

    I agree yes this story needs more attention. But whats the point of this statement. Black hate crimes get attention because black communities and leader make them get attention. This is sad yes, but its his job to get the word out about this, why blog about this. He has a huge show that gets tons of viewers, he should make a whole program about this boy’s story.

  • http://www.justjared.com/ Just Jared

    Thanks, Britt!

  • Lori

    This is such a sad story. I got teary eyed reading how he and his mom crocheted the scarves for the troops as holiday gifts. I think I read that the kid who did is going to be charged as a juvenile which is ridiculous considering how calculated it was.

  • Justice

    This is not only horrible, but a wake up call to all of us. It is not enought to read the news, feel sorry and then forget about the issue– until next time. We must be consistant and should get involved. We must show SOLIDARITY and push for changes. 1+1+1+1… can make a difference.

    My heart and love is sent to Larry King and his family. This kills me!! How can this be happening!!!

  • jamie

    All I can say is my condolences go out to his family. I live in California, so I’ve heard about this story. However, I had no idea it would become [or try to become] national. I agree with Anderson Cooper. We need to show this story on how something like this could happen. These hate crimes need to be stopped.

  • m

    glad that you posted this. please spread the word about incidents like these. one correction though: it was california, not florida.

  • nikki

    I never heard a word about this story on the East Coast. It’s stories like this that really remind me of how far our Civil Rights have come and how very far we have yet to go to protect all. I understand the jist of what A.C was saying, enough is enough! I will pray for all involved tonight.

  • Jughed

    This story makes me sick to my stomach, but I’m so glad that many of our leaders are willing to stand up and speak out against such a heinous crime.

    Thanks, Jared, for not letting this one go quietly.

  • kristin

    ohhh man. shootings all the time…:(
    how sad.

  • t

    I live in in California also and had heard about the shooting but not this background on it, I can’t believe it, I can never understand how people can have so much hate in them and that we still live in a world where people have to live in fear of being themselves. Thanks for posting. This is so ridiculous, what are these parents teaching their kids and why are guns so easily available to them. I really hope Hillary or Obama win, mccain is such a bush #2.

  • rae

    I hadn’t even heard about this. This is heartbreaking and I agree with Anderson- it is a hate crime.

  • James

    We have a similar story to this is florida where the kid go stabbed on the bus before it left the school. school should be a safe haven for kids not a danger zone. what can we do to make this story go public? i think it has to do with the fact that hes gay… its such a shame

  • a

    how heartbreaking. :(

  • nicole

    What I can’t understand is, if his parent/s knew that he was gay,
    why couldn’t they send him to another school. They should have
    protected him.
    R.I.P Lawrence King.
    May thoughts and prayers are with his family.

  • BULLIES SUCK

    Bullying can go both ways. Either the bullied are killed, or the bulliers are killed. either way, it’s tragic and devestating and makes me hate the fact that my kid is in a public school. Two weeks ago, at our PTA meeting, it was discussed that a thrid grader was sent home for repeatedly calling another classmate a queer. The kid obviously heard it from somehwere and I don’t understand how a Bully law hasn’t been passed yet. If your 18 you can’t jump on someone underage, so why do we allow underage kids, to be able to jump on underage kids? We have to get some kind of law passed, that holds the parents responsible as well. I’v seen numerous parents encourage their kids to defend theirself and fight back. I’m not saying, they shouldn’t, I’m saying, it shouldn’t be encouraged and should be stopped, by the board of education if it’s at school and law enforcement if it isn’t.

  • Marieme

    Thank you so much for posting this JJ. Living in L.A. I’ve been reading about this story and have been sick I can’t believe this horrible crime so easily and callously took place in front of a whole school! You know and it’s important that so many people came out for the service BUT where the hell were people when this poor boy was alive? I don’t know but I truly hope he felt loved, accepted and supported by his friends because from what I understand he was bullied quite a lot. If that’s the case then he was failed by many even before he was murdered.

  • denverguy

    i read this in the l.a. times, from the time it happened to the time of services for larry. true, i never heard of this in any colorado papers, why? it is good to know that we can reach out to other cities, states and countries to read what is happening in this world, via the internet. my thoughts go out to larry king, his family and any other person who might be reading this thinking, i am the only one. you are not alone, we are everywhere. peace to all.

  • Jerome

    E.O Green Jr High School is 5 min away from my house in Oxnard, I passed by the school and there was a blanket of flowers on front of the school. My prayers are out to this 15 year old’s family and foster family.

  • Jen

    No one deserves to die, why do humans always feel we can be the judge, jury and persecuter? Even if you disagree with whatever that person’s beliefs are, they have no right to judge. It’s not our place. Killing someone is pathetic, and that person should be punished.

  • Jen

    *executioner (not persecuter)

  • ace tomato

    Heartache

  • Jill

    Absolutely despicable. The kid who killed him needs to be tried as an adult and locked up for the next 20 years at least. He knew damn well what he was doing when he shot that poor child.

    Interesting that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have spoken out against this crime, but no word from the other side of the aisle yet. Or maybe McCain is afraid of offending the right-wing crazies if he speaks out against gay-bashing?

  • Reader

    NICOLE – I live in L.A. and the news stated that his family had changed him from many school because of bullying.

    I don’t think anyone could expect this could happen to their child just for coming out.

    How can one person loving another person of the same gender cause so much anger – enough anger to commit murder?

  • Kayla

    This just makes me sick to my stomach! I can understand not agreeing with a way of life. I cannot understand killing someone for no reason except for their sexual orientation. He was 15! He hadn’t even begun real life yet, and now his life is over and the kid who shot him will be in prison for life (hopefully).

    What a waste of life. I can’t even imagine what his family and friends must be feeling right now.

    Also, to the person who said it was Anderson’s job to let us know. He’s not the only newscaster in America. Responsibility falls on all of us for change, not just the “important” people. He brought up the African American and religious points to show that civil rights have come a long way….and we’ve got a long way to go.

  • Flisbeth

    I am not from the US and this is the first I hear about this heartbreaking story…I think it has yet to go this far where I live, but somehow I just think that, that is only a matter of time…sad! I really love Anderson Cooper and think it’s wonderful to see someone using the newsplatform for something usefull for once!

  • hmm…

    hate crimes happen everyday in america because our country is full of hate, but the crime only matters if it’s a white gay male.

    it is unfortunate that this kid was killed but do not make him a martyr just teach the people around you to open their hearts to change.

  • Alyssa

    this just makes me wanna cry :[

  • sienna

    Lawrence is now in God’s loving arms. He is safe with Jesus.

    Rest in Peace Sweetheart.

    *********************************************************************

    Rot in hell you fcuking murderer.

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much Jared!
    Seriously, if it hadn’t been for your site, I wouldn’t have stumbled upon this tragedy. It’s incredible and mindboggling to me that this isn’t a national story yet. UGH! Please continue to post relevant and timely news stories like this along with your usual entertainment news. I really appreciate it.

    Sarah

  • sevenout

    Hate crime legislation is a crock of crap. Yesterday a boy was shot in the face for throwing a snoball. The man who was hit by the snoball went all the way back to his apartment, got his gun, came back and shot the kid point blank in the face.

    The gay kid was killed because he way gay. The snoball kid was killed because he threw a snoball at a guy. A kid down my street was killed last month by a drive by shooting. It is IRRELEVANT what the reason why these kids were killed, they are all horrible, senseless murders, committed by MURDERERS. To say that the gay kid is more important than the other two kids, just because he was gay is a disservice to the other victims of murderers. Hate crime legislation does NOTHING except attempt to make the same type crimes committed against non-minority/special interest groups seem more important.

    Are the cops going to work harder to solve a murder/assault/crime against a gay/black/latino/etc. just because it was a hate crime? No.

  • Amy

    We need to look at bullying as what it is, it’s about power, about keeping someone else down to keep yourself up. Murdering someone in a public building at point blank range may make you feel powerful for a second, but in a bully’s long term goal, he knows he’s going to get in trouble, and the trouble for a very well witnessed murder is not worth the thrill, at least not if the kid has any level of sanity.

    Maybe the poor kid who was the unfortunate victim was gay, but calling it a hate crime seems more a motive for a back alley murder than anything else. I think there had to have been a bigger motive here.

  • bluebell

    really sad! my prayers are with his family and friends!

  • black

    I honestly ffel for him and his family.

    There is something really wrong with your american schools—-

  • mlvc

    My heart is saddened for this and any hate crime victim and their families. I wish there was hope for this world, i’d like to think there is, but stories like this and others, make me believe their may not be.
    I read about this story and could not believe it when i did a few weeks back….Heartbreaking. Thank You A.C. and Just Jared for being bold enough to bring this to America’s attention. The sad fact is , very few actually care. The world is in a sad state.

  • mkt1204

    Hate? Hell, I would think that anybody that attempts to murder and/or shoots another person in the head probably “hates” that person. Any murder IS a hate crime, or else they wouldn’t murder them. At what point can you start prosecuting someone for what they were “thinking” when they commited a crime……..now that’s a scary door to open up.

  • http://15 v_v

    Thanks for posting this JJ.
    Please post more important stuff like this!!
    I never heard about it until now.
    Really sad.

    ;__;

  • leetle UN

    CNN host Anderson Cooper just blogged about a shooting at a junior high school computer lab in California that happened two weeks ago. Consequently, as a result of a hate crime, 15-year-old Lawrence King was shot to death.

    ********************
    Jared if you write the paragraph like this (as you did) it means that the teenager was shot because Anderson Cooper blogged. Please take out the word “Consequently”.

  • neil

    While riding the subway in Toronto the other day I wached a pack of mixed teens playfully knock up against each other before leaving the train. “You’re such a fag” one says to the other while the rest laugh.
    It’s hard to believe there was much malice there but at the same time Lawrence King’s tragedy probably began with a similar begining. It all begins with language.

  • neil

    It’s too bad the high school in question didn’t have these sorts of character students looking after their community.
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/09/18/pink-tshirts-students.html?ref=rss

  • http://@@@@@ r0ck5t@r

    The main pic is misleading. I thought that was Larry but
    it’s a classmate.

    R.I.P L@RRY.

  • Ellen

    May you Rest in Peace.

  • anja

    Poor little darling. Makes me sick to the core.

  • http://GPost Team Lara Croft

    well, some people were making bigoted comments about t.r. knight and his boyfiriend on another thread. do they not understand that whether you shoot the gun or use hateful words, it is all the same at the end of the day – it’s bigotry! god loves all people. don’t judge what you don’t understand or is different. and thanks for those comforting words barack: obama ’08! may this child’s soul rest in peace. how sad. how tragic that we kill people for being different. how sick.

  • http://GPost Team Lara Croft

    I also don’t think there is a need to ask “of it had been a black kid or a kid of another race would we pay attention to it as a hate crime”. That sort of question can be fodder for division. Blacks as hate crime victims have nothing to do with this story. They are also victims too with a history of lynchings, burnings, etc so to ask thatquestion is to possibly suggest to those who can’t understand it better that blacks are getting preferential “victim” treatment. It is just that hate crimes against blacks and against jews are more rampant so we have a language or a predecessor for it. In NYC, there were a ton of swastikas found in a temple. This happens all the time but it is not because crime against Jews is seen as more valid.

    The bottom line is ALL people who are attacked for their race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation should have the right to challenge it as a hate crime. We are all equal – let’s stop pointing to our diffeences and look toward our similarities. We bleed the same way and poop the same way. We are equal. God has been trying to tell us this for millions of years and like bratty children, we refuse to listen to him/her. How sad.

  • Ha!

    Walked into a computer lab in a school and SHOT HIM IN THE HEAD?!?! Because this boy was brave enough to come out? Why are there children today who are taught or believe that this is okay? Are we so polarized and so afraid of diversity that such an extreme reaction – MURDER – to something that had NOTHING to do with the shooter is actually a viable option for some people? I am sick to my stomach. This makes me want to cry.

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