The 7th-grade teacher of a gay student who was murdered in 2008 made some shocking statements to an HBO documentary crew about his death.
A fellow classmate, 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, shot King in Oxnard, Calif. in 2008. King had come out as gay in the weeks before his death, and students bullied him once he started dressing as a girl.
McInerney shot King twice in the head in a school computer lab. He is now serving a 21-year prison sentence.
Brown makes clear that teachers had warned him about being flamboyant:
“When he asked me what to do about the situation, my response to him was ‘nothing. What to do about the situation is nothing, and to keep it private, and to dwell upon it.’ Larry shouldn’t have expressed himself so blatantly, openly transsexual. He regressed day-by-day in his outward appearance as a girl. Any teacher with a grain of salt really said, ‘it’s out of control.'”
She also says she relates to the killer:
“I do believe Larry honestly did not even have a clue, uh, the consequences of his actions. I relate to Brandon because I could see my own self being in that very same position. I don’t know if I would have taken a gun, but a good, swift kick in the butt might work really well.”
Before King was murdered, Brown says she warned the school principal that they had to put a stop to his “progression” before the boys at school beat him to death.
The implication from these statements is that the blame isn’t on the student who murdered King, but rather on King’s own behaviour.
Similarly, King’s special needs teacher, Sue Crowley, speaks in the movie about how he had a “special need,” a behaviour he needed to “extinguish” in the classroom. She says: “Larry had a behaviour goal to not do exactly what he was doing in the weeks before he died. It’s a legally binding document. It should have been enforced, just like any other legal document.”
Gawker has clips of the interviews with Brown and pro-McInerney jurors.
This perspective seems disturbing, but then again the movie is “bracingly willing to explore other sides of this disturbing case and complex subject,” according to the New York Times.
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