Teacher of murdered gay student says she 'relates' to his killer and wanted to give the victim a 'good swift kick in the butt'
- Lawrence King, known as Larry, was 15 when he was shot twice in the head at school by Brandon McInery, 14, who King asked to be his Valentine
- Emotional new documentary tells the story of how a small town rallied behind McInery, naming him the victim
- Teacher Shirley Brown, one of King's confidante's, says she 'could see herself in the same position'
- Juror says McInery was solving a 'terrible problem' because King was a cross-dresser
One of the teachers of slain schoolboy Lawrence King - the 15-year-old who was shot twice in the head for asking another male student to be his Valentine - has created shock and anger among activists for saying that she 'relates' to King's killer.
The claims were made last night in Marta Cunningham's powerful new documentary Valentine Road, which aired on HBO and follows the dual stories of King - a flamboyant African-American with transgender issues, who would wear make-up and dresses - and Brandon McInerney, a 14-year-old from a troubled white home with a budding interest in no-Nazism.
The day after King asked McInery to be his Valentine, McInery walked into their school in Oxnard, a small farming town in California, loaded with a pistol and murdered King in a computer lab.
Cunningham's documentary was spawned by how little attention the case received and the overhelming amount of support that McInery recieved and not King, the victim.
'They made a murder victim the cause of his own murder,' said Homocide detective Jeff Kay.
'I've never seen that before.'
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Anger: Seventh Grade teacher Shirley Brown is one of many people in the California town of Oxnard who spoke out in support of Brandon McInery, a 14-year-old student who shot Lawrence 'Larry' King in the head for asking to be his Valentine
Murdered: Larry King was the victim of a gay hate crime
Scene: Larry King was killed in a classroom of this school, E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California
Brandon McInerney is serving a 21-year sentence in prison for the murder of Larry King.
A standout section of the documentary that has drawn the ire of gay activists is an interview with Shirley Brown, King's seventh grade teacher at WE.O. Green Junior High School.
King had confided in her about his gay tendencies and she told him to keeep them 'private' and to 'dwell' on them.
'I do believe in a heaven and a hell, and I do believe Larry honestly did not have a clue, honestly, the consequences of his actions,' Brown said.
'I relate to Brandon because I could see my own self being in that very same position.
'I don't know if I would have taken a gun, but a good swift kick in the butt might work really well,' she added, laughing.
Perspective: Juror Diane Michaels says murderer Brandon McInery was being 'taunted' by King and that killing King was a 'plan to take care of this terrible problem'
There were also interviews with some of the jurors involved in the case who spoke in support of McInery.
Juror Diane Michaels, a nurse, said it was a breach of civil rights because McInery was being 'taunted'.
'Where are the civil rights of the one being taunted by another person that is cross-dressing?' she said.
'They have to address that. It's very important. He had no one to turn to because the school was soi pro Larry King's civil rights but where was Brandon's civil rights?'
Michaels said if King had followed the 'example' lead by a lesbian student, who stopped holding the hands of her girlfriend at school, he would not have been killed.
'(McInery) had a plan to take care of this terrible problem because no one else was,' she said.
Juror Karen McElhaney described the teen as 'intelligent' and that his drawings of Nazi symbols were normal.
'That's what kids do, they doodle,' she said.
Cunningham set out to challenge views such as this.
'As a community, I think we’re really failing our LGBT youth of color,' she said.
'It’s time for us to understand where race intersects with LGBT.'
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