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Family blames school for gay teens death

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26218530/

I can understand maybe blaming the school for not being vigilant and allowing the other student to bring a gun to school, but to blame the school for "for not enforcing the dress code."? Surely the parents knew there was a dress code and should have enforced it themselves. Or are parents just abdicating their responsibilities to the school?
post #2 of 14
It also makes one wonder what the parents would have said or done if the school had enforced the dress code and refused to allow their son to wear feminine clothes and makeup. They probably would have sued for discrimination. A danged if you do and danged if you don't scenario.
post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
It also makes one wonder what the parents would have said or done if the school had enforced the dress code and refused to allow their son to wear feminine clothes and makeup. They probably would have sued for discrimination. A danged if you do and danged if you don't scenario.
I agree with you. Had the school sent him home for the violations they would have sued for discrimination.

Now, this may sound like a weird question, but I wonder if there was a gay friendly high school in the area. I know there is one in New York for Gay/Lesbian/Transgendered high school students. In fact, it's named after a gay icon, Harvey Milk.
post #4 of 14
I found the article on MSNBC before coming here.

The first thing I thought when I read it was exactly what katachtig typed. Well, maybe not "exactly". I think my thoughts went along the lines of, "Well, I guess it's too much to ask of the parents to make sure that their kid follows the school's dress code. Asking the parents to, you know, parent.

My second thought was exactly what Yosemite wrote. And this time I do mean exactly.

That said, it's a pretty sad, albeit predictable, story. Someone who, um, presents themselves that way is going to incite a reaction, especially in high school. You know how kids are. Not that adults are a whole lot better, mind you.

I guess just beating him up wouldn't have been sufficient.
post #5 of 14
That is a horrible crime based on prejudice. The boy was dressing up in a way that was comfortable for him and he got killed because of it. I can understand that the parents would wish for anything that might have prevented the death, but asking the school to force kids to conform so they wont be discriminated against is not the way to prevent this kind of violence.
post #6 of 14
I read the article too with absolute disgust. And not that I'm absolving the parents in any way, shape or form, but I did read that the boy was living in a home for troubled youths and not at home. So part of my thought was why aren't they suing the place where their son was living for not knowing or enforcing the school's dress code?

Once again, though, it seems we aren't getting but a small taste of what actually happened in this horrible case. We don't know if the boy was taken from the family home or if they tried to seek help for him. We don't know much of anything about the shooting itself, or what led up to it (previous confrontations, if the shooter had previous issues within the school and/or with other gay students). "Feminine clothing" could be anything from skater clothes to full on female type clothes. "Makeup" could be anything from eyeliner (being a teen in the 80s, I knew a lot of guys who wore more eyeliner than I did!) to full on foundation, blush, eyeshadow, etc.

Regardless, though, it sure seems like the parents are trying to find any one else to blame for their son's tragic death rather than the real problem - the boy who actually shot their son and how in the heck he got a GUN into school without being noticed. I think the dress code enforcements was the least of the problems
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Here is more background on the case. http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23847511/

There were some serious issues going on, more than just a problem with enforcing the dress code.
post #8 of 14
It shouldn't matter what anybody in middle school is wearing; they shouldn't be killed for doing it. In fact, I'd say that it is horrendous for anyone to be killed for expressing themselves.

A gender-specific dress code does nothing but increase gender-specific expectations. In other words, a gender-specific dress code is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
post #9 of 14
Not that it makes a difference, but perhaps he was dressing differently once he got to school. I know (in the 70's) my friends and I used to roll our skirts up in the ladies room once we got to school.
Quote:
"He didn't like people insulting him," said his friend Miriam Lopez, 13. "Larry was brave enough to bring high heels and makeup to school and he wasn't afraid of anything."
Poor kid.
post #10 of 14
IMO, the problem isn't that the school didn't enforce the dress code. It's that the school failed to protect their son from the sociopaths who shot him.

Lawrence King didn't need protection from himself (i.e. being forced to change his clothes... this smacks of blaming the rape survivor because she was wearing a short skirt); he needed protection from his disordered peers. The school didn't provide it. Sue them for that.

I understand they're hurting, and they need someone to hold responsible. But let's put the blame where it belongs: on the perpetrators, not the victim. They, I'm sure, don't look at this as blaming their son, but it is.

Should he have expected some rude remarks, etc.? Well, sure. Unfortunately, that kind of nonsense isn't limited to adolescents. But he also has a right to, um, not be shot to death at school.
post #11 of 14
That is a heartbreaking story. I read the link that katachtig provided and it made me want to cry.
That kid was a brave soul and I have to hand it to him for courage. It seemed he had been either neglected or abused at home and was in foster care. Which alone is sad but to be killed like that is really tragic.
But the parents are misguided. You can't make the school responsible for something like this.
post #12 of 14
That is so sad, one young man who has died because he was different. Just so very very sad.
post #13 of 14
The school was enforcing the dress code. Their dress code was a school uniform, accompanied by accessories that are not a danger (the example of "dangerous" given is steel-toed boots).

You can't require girls to "dress like girls" whatever that means or boys to "dress like boys". If heels and a necklace are okay for one, they're okay for all of them.

When my sister was in high school in the early 90s one of her classmates sued the school for not allowing him to wear dresses (ankle-length, loose skirts, nothing you could call obscene). Then they had to. If almost 20 years ago the court ruled you could wear a dress, then you sure can now.

I think it's awful that this lawsuit is drawing attention away from the real concern. A boy killed another boy because he was gay. Shot him in the back of the head while he sat at a computer.

Think, now where on earth did he get the idea that that would be okay? Maybe from his parents. Maybe from his friends. Gay-bashing is a pervasive disease in our society, and this tragedy is a symptom of that.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zissou'sMom View Post
Think, now where on earth did he get the idea that that would be okay? Maybe from his parents. Maybe from his friends. Gay-bashing is a pervasive disease in our society, and this tragedy is a symptom of that.
Bingo!!! The second article said that the killer's father had shot his mom in the elbow and that there was domestic violence in the home, as well as the mother admitting to problems with drug addiction. So the shooter had a male role model that was mysogynistic AND violent and probably homophobic as well. And the kid did display "machismo" traits....So sad that Larry King had to die because of it - sounds like he was courageous and humorous.
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