On Friday LGBTQ students (and allies) will be silent in classrooms across the country, as part of GLSEN’s National Day of Silence. This year’s events are being held in honor of the tragic murder of Lawrence King, the Oxnard queer student who was murdered in February by a classmate because of his sexuality and gender expression.
Last week I was shocked to hear that a total of 27 LGBTQ organizations like National Center for Lesbian Rights, Lambda Legal, and the Transgender Law Project are all fighting for Lawrence’s murderer to be tried as a juvenile. The organizations claim that their reasoning is tied to working towards a total climate change, which will make schools safer for LGBTQ youth. While I understand their strategy, I think it’s important for us as a community not to forget that a 14 year old got a gun, took it into a classroom, and shot a queer student in the back of the head. Had the murder been less calculated, less premeditated, I might have an easier time siding with the organizations. I just have a hard time believing that the killer didn’t know exactly what he was doing. The groups are right however that sending him to jail will not bring Lawrence King back, however I believe that it would send a message.