Rep. Capps and Sen. Feinstein introduce resolutions remembering Lawrence King
February 12, 2009
The one-year anniversary of the tragic anti-LGBT shooting of Oxnard, California teenager Lawrence King by a classmate has sparked congressional action. Today Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-CA) will introduce a concurrent resolution in the U.S. House to honor the life of King. Here is the text of the resolution that will be introduced by Congresswoman Capps:
Honoring and remembering the life of Lawrence “Larry” King.
Whereas Larry King was a 15-year-old boy from Oxnard, California, who was shot by a fellow student during computer class on February 12, 2008 and died in the hospital two days later;
Whereas the police classified the murder as a hate crime;
Whereas at least 179 vigils have been held in all fifty states in memory of Lawrence King since his death on February 14, 2008;
Whereas a record number of more than 18,000 students from a record number of more than 6,500 middle and high schools registered as participants in the 12th annual National Day of Silence, which was held in memory of Lawrence King, to bring attention to anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender name-calling, bullying and harassment;
Whereas one year after an act of hate in Oxnard, CA, vigils are being organized across the country in memory of Lawrence King, calling for an end to violence and harassment directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in schools;
Whereas more than 85 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students report being verbally harassed at school by their peers because of their sexual orientation; and more than 66 percent because of their gender expression;
Whereas more than 40 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students report being physically harassed by their peers because of their sexual orientation; and more than 30 percent because of their gender expression;
Whereas more than 20 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students report being physically assaulted by their peers at school because of their sexual orientation; and nearly 15 percent because of their gender expression;
Whereas every child should be guaranteed an education free from name-calling, bullying, harassment and discrimination regardless of his or her sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring) –
That Congress honors the life and remembers and condemns the murder of Lawrence King;
encourages efforts to address anti-lesbian, -gay, -bisexual and -transgender name-calling, bullying, harassment and discrimination on school campuses;
encourages trainings to enable school staff to identify and address anti-lesbian, -gay, -bisexual and -transgender name-calling, bullying, harassment and discrimination effectively and in a timely manner;
encourages the implementation of age-appropriate, inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole;
encourages each State, city, and local education authority to adopt laws and policies to prohibit name-calling, bullying, harassment and discrimination against students, teachers and other school staff regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Congresswoman Capps also issued this statement today in a press release:
The one year anniversary of Larry King’s death is a tragic reminder of a life cut far too short. It is also a clarion call to all of us about the need for action to end this type of unacceptable discrimination and violence towards our brothers and sisters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Larry’s murder is particularly painful because it happened at his school, a place that should have been a sacred space where he could grow and learn in a safe and supportive environment. We have to do better by our children and do more to protect our friends and neighbors who too often face this harassment alone. Larry’s death is a tragedy but I hope we continue to be driven by his memory to end this despicable violence.
Likewise, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a resolution honoring King in the U.S. Senate. Read the resolution here (PDF). And be sure to read HRC Family Project Director Ellen Kahn's Huffington Post article in support of HRC's forthcoming Welcoming Schools guide.