A judge in California has ruled that that a 14-year-old boy who is to stand trial for the murder of his classmate be dealt with as if he were an adult.
As a result of Ventura County Superior Court Judge Douglas Daily’s ruling, Brandon McInerney could face life in prison.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans activists had urged that the boy be dealt with by a juvenile court.
Lawrence King, 15, who self-identified as gay and wore feminine clothing, was shot in the head during a class on February 12th, allegedly by classmate Brandon McInerney, at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California.
In April a coalition of 27 LGBT rights groups called for him to be treated as a juvenile.
Kevin Jennings, Executive Director of GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, said:
“This incident of senseless violence is truly horrifying, and our hearts go out to the student’s friends, family and the E.O. Green School community.
“As a nation, we’ve had our heads in the sand for far too long. We need to do everything we can to prevent something like this from happening again.”
“With young people coming out at younger ages, our schools, especially our junior highs and middle schools, need to be proactive about teaching respect for diversity based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Carolyn Laub, executive director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network.
“The tragic death of Lawrence King is a wake-up call for our schools to better protect students from harassment at school. As a society, we can prevent this kind of violence from happening.”
According to the Ventura County Star, a grand jury recently ruled that schools must be safer, mandating that a police officer must be present on each campus and that schools buckle down on perimeter fencing and locking gates.