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

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”

  1. I doubt that King was violating the dress code in the first place, at least not in a way that the school could enforce without being accused of gender discrimination or selective enforcement by associations such as NLGLA and Lamda Legal. And even if he was violating it, the school’s decision to enforce it was purely discretionary and immunized from this type of liability.

    Of course, whether the school board is liable in this case for allegedly failing to enforce its dress code may have little impact on the larger issue of its potential liability for failing to protect King from known bullies and other threats.

    He certainly stood out from other students and school officials had to have some familiarity with his reputation and be aware of the potential for trouble with other students. If the school knew he was being threatened or his safety was in danger and failed to take reasonable steps to protect him, then they can be held liable.

    Dailey v. Los Angeles Unified Sch. Dist., 479 P.2d 360 (Cal. 1970) (“While school districts and their employees have never been considered insurers of the physical safety of students, California law has long imposed on school authorities a duty to supervise at all times the conduct of the children on the school grounds and to enforce those rules and regulations necessary to their protection.”).

    Enforcement of the dress code is only a small part of that equation.

    But it’s not clear that they FAILED to enforce it in this case. In fact, they may have actually been following it in a non-discriminatory manner.

    In this Associated Press article from March -http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23847511/

    – the superintendent of the Hueneme School District said that King was free to wear women’s accessories with his uniform of white shirt and dark pants because the dress code prohibits only those items that could be a safety threat, such as steel-toed shoes. “If girls are wearing jewelry, you can’t stop boys from wearing it, too,” he said. “Each gender has the right to wear what the other does.”

    Ironically, their efforts to let him express himself and avoid complaints of gender discrimination or selective enforcement of the dress code have now caused them liability of a different sort.

    But E.O. Green Junior High School’s dress code doesn’t prohibit what King has been reported to have worn. He followed the color requirements with the appropriate shirts, pants and shoes. All he did is wear female accessories (i.e. – makeup, jewelry and high-heels). Nothing in their dress code mentions gender restrictions of any kind.

    The full code is available here: http://eogreen.huensd.k12.ca.us/info/parent_student/Uniform%20Dress%20Code%202005.pdf

    So I doubt that he was “violating” it in any way that would have allowed school officials to “enforce” it in the first place.

    But even assuming he was and they should have, the dress code itself doesn’t appear to impose a mandatory duty on school officials.

    The Hueneme School District’s uniform dress code states that:

    A student whose parent/guardian has not filed an exemption, and who is not in uniform at school may be referred to a school administrator for counseling and follow-up parent contact. The school may develop and implement positive incentive programs to support participation in the uniform dress code program.

    The full policy is available here: http://www.huensd.k12.ca.us/board_policies/board_policies_ar5132.1.htm

    While schools have a mandatory duty to enforce those rules and regulations necessary to the protection of children on school grounds, they have no mandatory duty to enforce a rule prohibiting what is not, in and of itself, unsafe activity. Schug v. Sonoma Valley Unified School Dist., 2002 WL 490696 (Cal. App. 2002).

    California Government Code section 815, subdivision (a), confers liability on a public entity, such as the School District, for injury proximately caused by an act or omission of any employee, but under subdivision (b), immunizes the public entity from liability where the employee would be immune from liability.

    Government Code section 820.2 immunizes public employees from liability for injuries resulting from an act or omission where the act or omission was the result of discretion vested in that employee. A decision by a school administration to prohibit a specific type of conduct, or to allow students to engage in that conduct, is exactly the kind of discretionary decision protected by the immunities of Government Code sections 820.2 and 815.2.

    In Skinner v. Vacaville Unified School Dist. (1995) 37 Cal.App.4th 31, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 384, it was argued that a school should be held liable for injuries inflicted by one student on another because it had failed to expel the first student before the incident. But the court found that the kinds of policy determinations inherent in the decision to expel placed that decision squarely within the discretionary immunity provision of Government Code section 820.2 (Id. at p. 39, 43 Cal.Rptr.2d 384.) The federal district court, in Nicole M. v. Martinez Unified School District (N.D.Cal.1997) 964 F.Supp. 1369, agreed, finding that decisions by a school principal or superintendent to impose discipline on students necessarily requires the exercise of judgment or choice, and accordingly are discretionary, rather than ministerial, acts. (Id. at pp. 1389-1390; and see Davison v. Santa Barbara School District (C.D.Cal.1998) 48 F.Supp.2d 1225, 1231-1232).

    Nothing in the policies of either the School District or the junior high makes enforcement of the dress code a mandatory duty. Compliance is expected and violations certainly aren’t ignored, but the applicable provisions are worded in a discretionary manner that gives school officials flexibility when dealing with noncompliance.

    Nunn v. State of California, 677 P.2d 846 (Cal. 1984) (intent of legislature to impose mandatory statutory duty so as to bring violation of that duty outside scope of governmental immunity can usually be determined from statutory language).

    But again, the school’s immunity for failing to enforce the dress code may have little relevance to their ultimate liability in this case if it’s proven that they knew King was being bullied and failed to take reasonable steps to protect him.

    He was certainly a unique student who may have been more vulnerable than others, and enforcing the dress code is only a small part of the umbrella of protection that should have been placed over him.

    I’d also note that just because King was killed by the criminal act of a third party, that doesn’t automatically absolve the school from its responsibilities.

    Beck v. San Francisco Unified School Dist. (1964) 225 Cal.App.2d 503 (although a school district is not liable for injuries arising from unlawful or willful misconduct of its students, the willful act of a student may not in itself be a sufficient intervening cause to relieve the district of its own liability).

  2. “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.

  3. I don’t need the likes of Zapolski/Gellar or whatever are their names.

    *****

    FYI- these people have nothing to do with Landmark Education or
    ‘The Forum’ which is the updated version of ‘est’
    (Erhard Seminars Training)

    ***

    When you get back, give me the Cliffs Notes version.

    ****

    Normally, I would not recommend The Forum at all because, generally, I do not approve.

    You, however, need to take a step, any step, toward your own well-being.

    Don’t be such a hard-headed-tightwad. Sign up, spend the dime, take ‘the training’, and/or shut your mouth, until you implode!

    You are SO full of hate, if you don’t do ‘something’ else, soon, I fear you will make your self ill – if you haven’t already…

    You have a family to be concerned about.

    As for ‘ Cliff Notes’, you won’t get them from me. I spent my money years ago because I was curious. You can spend yours – or not…

    From Amazon.com

    Outrageous Betrayal: The Real Story of Werner Erhard from Est to Exile (Hardcover)
    by Steven Pressman (Author)

    Editorial Reviews
    From Publishers Weekly
    Before he abandoned his wife and children, changed his name to Werner Erhard, moved to California and began promoting his self-awareness programs, known in the 1970s as est and later as the Forum, Jack Rosenberg was a car salesman in Philadelphia. Inspired by a self-help course called Mind Dynamics, by Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich , by Scientology and cybernetics, and advised by a skilled tax lawyer, Erhard launched est in 1971. And for 20 years he reigned as guru of the “human potential movement.” According to freelance journalist Pressman, the womanizing, charismatic and demanding Erhard collected tens of millions of dollars from 500,000 people who took his courses. Eventually lawsuits, desertions among his coterie and the rise of new New Age mind-improving programs ended Erhard’s empire and in 1991, owing millions to the IRS and others, he went into exile in Mexico. Pressman here cuts into him with surgical precision.
    Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    From Library Journal
    Pressman, a San Francisco-based journalist, offers a compelling account of the 1980s guru who rose from selling used cars to peddling personal transformation. Erhard’s dubious Est program–today known as The Forum–promises outlandish benefits in return for outlandish cash outlays. Like many of his predecessors, (notably L. Ron Hubbard, the demented fabricator of Scientology, whom Erhard briefly followed), Erhard progressed from a tireless, aggressive proselytizer to a psychotic egomaniac. Pressman skillfully documents Erhard’s ascension to godlike status, and his irrevocable, shameful plummet following an episode that aired in 1991 on 60 Minutes , in which Erhard’s daughter accused him of sexual abuse (a charge that Erhard allegedly deflected by characterizing it as “a nurturing experience”). Most public libraries should place this expose on the same shelves as Wendy Kaminer’s I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional ( LJ 6/1/92).
    – Mark Annichiarico, “Library Journal”
    Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    Product Details

    * Hardcover: 289 pages
    * Publisher: St Martins Pr; 1st edition (August 1993)
    * Language: English
    * ISBN-10: 0312092962
    * ISBN-13: 978-0312092962
    * Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.1 inches
    * Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
    * Average Customer Review:

  4. I don’t need the likes of Zapolski/Gellar or whatever are their names.
    *****

    FYI- these people have nothing to do with Landmark Education or
    ‘The Forum’ which is the updated version of ‘est’
    (Erhard Seminars Training)

  5. I know there are a lot of things wrong with the world and some new “evil” always crops up (McCain and Iran for instance), but for now if the Palestinians got there own country back and the US would stop killing people whenever they felt the need, my life would be complete. I don’t need the likes of Zapolski/Gellar or whatever are their names. When you get back, give me the Cliffs Notes version.

  6. You would refer anyone to go to “wackjobs” for anything? My problem is that I’m ‘obsessed’ by injustice even when it’s not popular.

    ****
    Yeah, you’d fit right in! 😉

    Seriously, it’s just a seminar. Some people get a lot out of it.
    The danger comes from allowing it, like anything, to take over your life – which also occurs.

  7. UN Resolution 3379 (1975), “Determines that Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination”, with a majority of world nations supporting the Resolution. It took Bush Sr. and US arm-twisting to have that Resolution revoked in 1991 without any change in the Palestinian condition. Bush Jr. had the phrase “Zionism is racism” omitted from the World Conference against Racism 2001 (ironically) in Durban, South Africa. The US left delegation left however, when Israel was equated with Apartheid.

    So it took the esteemed Bush family and US arm-twisting to remove what the majority of countries felt was right. However, what made Zionism racism in 1947 and 1975 did not change in 1991 or 2001. Jimmy Carter knows a great deal more about the topic that either Bush, you or I and he recognized that Israel is an Apartheid State.

    So if you’re a Zionist, you’re a racist, congratulations.

  8. “Your first two lines said it all, you are a Zionist.”

    Zakie,
    I’ve never denied my support of Israel’s continued existence as a Jewish state. As for the second line, I’ve already explained myself. You unfortunately see only what suits your limited view. I really didn’t want to answer you any more, but I like to be clear about what I believe and unlike you I am not a bigot.

  9. “Zionism is EVIL, there’s no two ways about it, PERIOD.”

    Islam is EVIL, there’s no two ways about it. PERIOD.

    Except I don’t believe blanket, bigoted statements about other peoples religion and I don’t believe that Islam per se is evil. You, however, constantly equate Zionism=Jew interchangeably so what you’re really saying is the same as the my false reworking of your bigotry.

    What shows your hypocrisy, besides the constant interchanging of
    Zionism/Jew/Israel and then denying your bigotry, is that the underpinning for your statement on Zionism is that you take umbrage at Jews having a Jewish State. At the same time you have no problem with the Saudis, Iranis, Afghanis, etc. proclaiming themselves to be Islamic States. The Arab States, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, etc. as you well know came into being after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. They were states created by Western Imperialists and whose governments (ruling elite) were put in place by those same imperialists.

    To you that’s alright because they’re your guys. The Israeli’s though have no right to the land, coming into being the same way. The real reason for this Islamic anger is that while Islam proclaims “respect” for “People of the Book” it also demands their subservience to Islam.
    The idea of Israel in the midst of purportedly Islamic territory is anathema to Muslims.

    It warms my heart to know how much you care for Rachel Corrie and you probably like Howard Zinn too. How kind of you to admit there are a few honorable Jews, while you besmirch the rest of us with your bigotry. I really can’t continue this dialog with you because I am
    handicapped having it. My handicap is that I don’t harbor vile bigotry towards Islam or Arabs, while you feel free to spout whatever venom comes to mind, after your horribly weak debating points are demolished. I’ll give you the fact that you are at least bright enough to recognize your argument’s failure, because that is when the names and the vitriol comes out.

    I’ve got three theories about you. One is that you’re a Neo-con Troll making vitriolic statements about Jews and others to heighten their own campaign of hatred towards Islam and gain adherents by providing a caricature of an Islamic man. This has a certain logic to it.

    Theory Two though is reinforced by the immaturity of some of your asides like: I was a great debater at University; I prefer Mercedes, BMW’s, Audi’s & Porsches; I am a man of means, After I left the University I bought my first home; and the ubiquitous “I prefer a stick shift.” A troll wouldn’t act so openly naive of his boastfulness. This theory then is that you are a rather spoiled, privileged young man, supported by family wealth or business, leading a “perfect” life with your wife and children. Believing though, as you support the despotism of most of the Arab States, that you are nevertheless a fighter for the underdog, while living your all too comfortable life, supporting the oppresssion of your own people by their elite masters. Perhaps you are one of them.

    The third theory also has much to recommend it. You’re an immature jerk, with delusions of grandeur, who like to lie. Bye, bye.

  10. You would refer anyone to go to “wackjobs” for anything? My problem is that I’m ‘obsessed’ by injustice even when it’s not popular.

  11. “Before you go off on another tirade, even “Patty C’s word” agrees that the Landmark group are “all wackjobs” after I bothered to present her with some research – which you couldn’t be bothered with before criticizing me.”
    ******
    The Forum is Landmark. Your ‘research’ had zero to do with forming my long held opinion AND I would still send you there, as I stated at the beginning, as I consider your case ‘severe’. I’m not sure you are even aware of your obsessiveness.

    You should definitely go for a weekend, zak. You would have a great time ‘debating’.

  12. You really do look for enemies where none exist. There are medications for that, try Clozapine. Zionism is EVIL, there’s no two ways about it, PERIOD. Only you would equate speaking the truth to losing and argument. You have to be extremely paranoid to see the linking of Nancy Zapolski to Uri Gellar as being derogatory to Jews. I’m not sure if Zapolski is a Jew, but I’m sure that Gellar is a fraud. You seem to identify Gellar as a Jew more than as a charlatan. I guess you believe in his “power” too.

    Before you go off on another tirade, even “Patty C’s word” agrees that the Landmark group are “all wackjobs” after I bothered to present her with some research – which you couldn’t be bothered with before criticizing me. You are now just automatically disagreeing with me even when there is nothing upon which to disagree.

    And for that last ludicrous comment, you are defending men whom I stated would be raping another man. You and Gyges have much in common that way. He boasts about being related to and friends of men who rape and murder little girls and you defend men who would rape a prisoner. It’s curious that you would get this worked up about my comments on Landmark and had no comments about six men who raped and killed a 14 year old girl.

    I’ve spoken about a courageous and honorable Jew like Rachael Corrie (for whom I have nothing but love and respect and called a hero) and Muslim Jews with no positive comment from you and the EVIL that is Zionism with no negative comment from you. You’ve already admitted to being a Jew; why not just admit that you’re ALSO a Zionist?

  13. “But there are some people on this site that support child rape and murder too, not so surprisingly they are also Zionists.”

    Zakie,
    What a snotty little man you become when you lose an argument. So in addition to all their other “evils” Zionists, meaning Jews of course, are into child rape and murder. I’ve defended Islam and Arabs when others on this site used bigotry to disparage them. You lack the insight and decency to do the same and that is why you are a bigot.

    “First of all it is run by Nancy Zapolski; I’m guessing her partner is Uri Geller.”

    Your implication of course is that Ms. Zapolski is Jewish because of the sound of her name and your inclusion of Geller in your statement. I don’t know if she is or not, but Zapolski is more likely a Polish surname.

    The real point though is that you assume any Jew is evil, until proven innocent. That is the mark of a bigot. As to the Landmark Foundation I know nothing about them but I’ll take Patty C’s
    word on them since she has shown intelligence and fairness in her writing, unlike you. That Erhard was a Jew just reinforces your narrow world view. Jew=Evil. Is that what your father taught you. When you are judged by Allah do you expect praise for that belief?
    I would hope that you would feel it unfair if all of Islam was to be judged equally guilty because of actions by a few Muslims. apparently though Jews don’t get the same leeway in your book.

    “And secondly, I couldn’t care less about this kid’s sexual preference.”

    “I think there’ll be a modicum of justice when half a dozen or so homos pile on this guy every day and he finally gets the ‘attention’ he never got at home.”

    So we find another area of your bigotry Zak, homosexuality. You obviously do care about the kids sexual preferences because only a homophobic bigot would write that second quote. Among the things that always have interested me is that how many homophobes are desperately trying to repress their inner homosexual feelings. They express their disgust and hatred as a means trying to keep their own feelings at bay. Now I don’t know you and so I can’t really assume this about you. However, I will state that you are a man off many bigoted sides,who professes compassion, but evinces little of that emotion.

  14. Is it Gyges or hussa’n now?

    Pro-Zionist AND pro child rape and murder, what’s next?

  15. Zakimar,

    Do you remember how Prof. Turley asked you to tone down the rhetoric?
    I hardly think that a discussion about a troubled kid getting shot by another troubled kid is a place to bring up the “dirty Zionists.” Please show some respect for the person who makes this conversation possible. I respect your right to say what you want, and won’t bring this up again, but out of common courtesy to your host please honor his wishes.

  16. When you stop plugging places like Landmark Education and stop morphing political blogs into ones where fruits exchange recipes, I may start looking into some of your advice. I didn’t bother researching “The Forum”, after wasting my time on your Landmark Education advice, I figured it’s probably some Israeli bathhouse.

  17. I think there’ll be a modicum of justice when half a dozen or so homos pile on this guy every day and he finally gets the ‘attention’ he never got at home.

  18. I don’t understand the intolerance toward gay people, especially from people who claim to be religious, or conservative, or best of all Christian conservatives. You’re never going to ‘will them to be straight’. So why spend so much time worrying about it? Unless you’re … you know … secretly jealous?

    I think it’s funny how much time people who claim to hate gays spend thinking about gay people. Like the guy who killed this poor kid. He’s now looking at spending an awful lot of time in a place where gay sex may be the only option.

    Ironic, ain’t it?

Comments are closed.