The actions of Ventura County, California school officials are under scrutiny after Monday's plea deal in the Lawrence King murder. Seventeen-year-old Brandon McInerney shot his 15-year-old classmate twice in the head at point-blank range in an Oxnard classroom in February 2008. McInerney was 14-years-old at the time and has agreed to serve 21 years in prison.
The victim's mother, Dawn King, revealed for the first time Monday that she had contacted school officials four days before the shooting in an effort to solicit their cooperation in toning down her son's behavior. She said she was told that her son had a civil right to explore his sexual identity. "I knew, gut instinct, that something serious was going to happen," she said. "They should have contained him, contained his behavior."
Witnesses have testified that King's "feminine attire" and gender identity was upsetting some students and faculty at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard. The defense has portrayed King as sexually "aggressive" and suggested that McInerney was "provoked." The father has blamed the school for encouraging Lawrence to "act gay."
"They should have to answer for what they did," Gregory King told FOX 11. "At the end of the day Larry did not deserve to be murdered and the defense trying to paint that Larry somehow deserved to be murdered, to me, is unconscionable."
King was living in a group home at the time of the shooting. State child welfare authorities had previously removed him from the family home. King's parents filed suit against the school district after the murder ... accusing authorities of not enforcing the school dress code.
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