A newly filed lawsuit in Ventura, California puts a new twist on past controversies over kids who want to cross dress in school. Increasingly, schools are leaving the matter to the parents and allowing cross dressing. The King family of Oxnard says that E.O. Green Junior High School is responsible for the fatal shooting of their 15-year-old son Larry King for not enforcing it dress code and preventing him from wearing make up and girls clothes.
Classmate Brandon McInerney was charged as an adult (including a hate crime) and has pleaded not guilty to the shooting.
Dawn and Gregory King claim that faculty members failed to deal with special concerns and threats connected to his sexual orientation, click here. At the time of his death, King was a ward of the court and living at a shelter for abused, neglected, and emotionally troubled children.
The failure to protect gay and lesbian students is not unique. Efforts to deal with the rising problem include segregated schooling, click here. Litigation is appropriate in such case, though the claim that the dress code should have been enforced against their son is a bit unusual.
For the latest story, click here.
46 thoughts on “Twist on a Cross Dressing Lawsuit: California Family Sues School in Fatal Shooting of Son — For Allowing Him to Wear Make-up and Girl’s Clothing”
Can you really blame the school. Just a blame game.
Larry was a ward of the state at the time of his murder – and, in the name of political correctness, the state failed him badly.
He was allowed to run around school flamboyantly, dressed like a girl, sexually harassing straight male students and in general pushing himself in the other boy’s faces in a profoundly abusive way.
In the case of Brandon, the young man accused of his murder, Larry systematically stalked and sexually harassed Brandon, and exposed Brandon to the high risk of humiliation and anti gay abuse from their classmates by claiming that he and Brandon were in a homosexual relationship.
Brandon begged for help from the school, but – in the name of political correctness and gay rights – Brandon’s pleas were turned down.
The poor boy felt he had no choice but to defend his masculine identity by any means necessary, which drove him to kill his harasser, Larry.
If the school district had defended Brandon’s right to not be sexually harassed, instead of encouraging Larry’s flamboyant acting out and his sexual harassment of other boys, Larry would still be alive and Brandon wouldn’t be facing a 51 year prison sentence!
In addition to this state law, discrimination or harassment directed at transgender or gender-nonconforming students may violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution, Title IX of the federal Education Amendment Acts of 1972, or other constitutional provisions.
(1) Equal Protection Clause
All students have a federal constitutional right to equal protection under the law. This means that schools have a duty to protect transgender students from harassment on an equal basis with all other students. If school officials failed to respond to harassment directed at a transgender student because they believe the student should expect to be harassed, or because they believe the student brought the harassment upon themselves simply by being openly transgender, or because the school was uneducated about transgender issues and was uncomfortable addressing the situation, then the school may have violated the Equal Protection Clause. Flores v. Morgan Hill Unified School District, 324 F.3d 1130 (9th Cir. 2003) (holding that school officials have an obligation under the Equal Protection Clause to respond to harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation); Nabozny v. Podlesny, 92 F.3d 446 (7th Cir. 1996) (holding that schoolπs failure to protect a gay student from harassment violated the equal protection clause). Although Flores and Nabozny involved lesbian and gay students, the same rationale would likely be applied if a school failed to protect a transgender student from harassment or discrimination.
A transgender student also has a right under the Equal Protection Clause to be treated similarly to other students of the same gender identity. So, if the school treats the student differently than it would treat other students of the same gender identity (i.e. if it imposes a dress code on a male-to-female transsexual that is different than the dress code that is applied to biological females), then the school is applying rules in a sex discriminatory way (i.e. it is applying the code differently based on the studentπs biological sex). See Doe v. Yunits, 2000 WL 33162199 (Mass. Super. 2000).
In my opinion, this interpretation of constitutional law in respect of dress codes as they may pertain to trangendered individuals should more appropriately pertain to adults and not to minors. At the very least the school boards should be aware that the student in Massachusetts of Doe v. Yunits didn’t go back to public school in drag because of harassment, even though legally entitled to.
There are dress codes and sexual harassment policies that apply conscientiously to adults in the workplace in this country and which reflect contemporary standards and which are designed to avoid disrupting the workplace and should apply in our public schools.
And yet, who is it that determines what rights and what rules should apply to adults and which apply to minors? When is a child an adult? Broadly, our laws deem a child to be an adult when they commit murder using a handgun. Do children know this is the rule? Who’s responsibility is it to tell them?
In my opinion, CAP laws under the Brady Bill should be expanded to hold adults culpable for the same crime if a minor gains access to a firearm and commits murder with it. Maybe only then will children find it difficult to get their hands on these deadly weapons so that our communities and court systems won’t need to anguish so much over whether to try the Brandons of this world as adults when the system fails to educate them properly on how to live together as human beings.
I was sympathetic to Larry King’s story until I read the full article. Then it became clear who the real victim was.
Why was King allowed to sexually harrass and humiliate Brandon. Is it okay because King was gay, and it’s more important for him to express himself?
King, and the misguided, militant principal are the ones ultimately responsible for destroying 2 children’s lives.
“Gay kid has asshole parents looking to get rich.”
You should write for Readers’ Digest, that was perfect.
And PC (Patty C) is probably not getting a commission; she’s getting a discount for herself by referring people to these freaks
Exsqueeze me – MASH, what? I obviously missed something AND you, Zak, are obviously out of your freakin’ mind!!!
Goodbye – hopefully, for good!
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