Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Candlelight Vigils to Honor Jr. High Student Shot at School

San Francisco – Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), Transgender Law Center, and numerous community partners are planning a series of vigils across California and the nation to express their deep sorrow regarding the death of Lawrence “Larry” King, a junior high school student from Oxnard, CA who was shot at school a week ago today. Authorities are prosecuting his murder as a hate crime, as Larry was perceived to be gay and gender non-conforming. The vigils will remember Larry King and carry the message of the need for stronger anti-bullying policies and anti-bias educational programs in schools.

Larry King, the 15-year-old 8th grader, was shot at E.O. Green Junior High School on Tuesday, February 12th, and was taken off life support three days later. Friends have reported that Larry had been bullied and harassed by classmates, including the fellow student, Brandon McInerney, charged with his murder.

GSA Network and Transgender Law Center, working in partnership with many other community organizations, have announced vigils (see below) throughout California on Wednesday, February 20th. A complete list of vigils nationwide is available at: www.rememberinglawrence.org

“By remembering Larry at these vigils," said Carolyn Laub, executive director of GSA Network, "We hope we will also honor him by raising awareness that young people are coming out at younger ages and 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.”

San Francisco, California
6:00 PM -- Lawrence King Remembrance Vigil
Location: Lobby of the SF LGBT Center, 1800 Market at Octavia
Co-Sponsored By: CUAV, GSA Network, LYRIC, SF LGBT Center, Transgender Law Center

Ukiah, California
5:15 PM -- Remembering Lawrence Candle Light Vigil
Location: State and Perkins Streets
Co-Sponsored By: GSA, PFLAG, MEUSA, PAN, United For Safe Schools, GLAM

Willits, California
5:30 PM -- Remembering Lawrence Candle Light Vigil
Location: Parking lot next to 38 S. Main St
Co-Sponsored By: GSA, PFLAG, Marriage Equality USA, Pride Alliance Network, GLAM and United for Safe Schools


Sacramento, California
5:30 PM -- Sacramento Vigil
Location: Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center
Co-Sponsored By: GSA Network, Sac Stonewall, Senator Darrell Steinberg, Sac BOE Member Gretchen Bender, CAPPAC, Respect Sacramento, Mariko Yamada Yolo County BOS

Fresno, California
7:00 -- Candlelight Vigil
Location: Corner of Shaw & Blackstone
Co-Sponsored By: GSA Network, Community Link, Fresno City College Diversity Club

West Hollywood/Los Angeles, California
7:00 PM -- Candlelight Vigil Remembering Lawrence King
Location: West Hollywood Park, 647 N San Vicente Blvd.
Co-Sponsored By: GSA Network, Transgender Law Center, Equality California, City of West Hollywood, Hollywood Chapter of NOW

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