Youth Across the Country to Remember Slain Teen Lawrence King

Register Online for February 12, 2010 vigils in your area

Dannie Tillman
424.653.9194 (c)
tillman@glaad.org

Kellee Terrell
(323) 313-7019
terrell@glaad.org

February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010, New York, NY — February 12th, 2010 marks the second anniversary of slain teen, Lawrence King, an eighth-grader from Ventura, CA, who in 2008 was shot in the head and killed by a classmate because of his perceived sexual orientation and gender expression.

WHAT:   Local organizations and groups are holding events and are urged to remember Lawrence King by hosting a vigil to honor his life and raise awareness about preventing violence and bullying in our schools.

WHO: Local coalitions of youth, advocacy and community groups.

WHERE:  Locations to be held around the country on Feb 12, 2010. Register or locate a vigil online at www.rememberinglawrence.org.

WHEN:  5:00-6:30pm (Local Time)

WHY:  King’s tragic story highlights the need for strong laws, policies, and programs to keep our young people safe. His death is not an isolated incident and it underscores a broader problem of bullying and harassment in our schools based on actual and perceived sexual orientation and gender expression.

A 2007 study conducted by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) found that more than 9 out of 10 LGBT middle school students surveyed (91%) said they experienced harassment at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation, 59% experienced physical harassment and a startling 39% said they had been physically assaulted, nearly twice as many as in high school (20%). That same study found that more than 8 out of 10 LGBT middle school students (82%) reported hearing homophobic epithets frequently or often from other students in school -- a higher percentage than high school students (73%). Perhaps most shocking, 63% of LGBT middle school students had heard school staff make homophobic remarks.

Support provided by:
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, (GLAAD), www.glaad.org; GSA Network, www.gsanetwork.org; Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), www.glsen.org;Ventura  County Rainbow Alliance, www.lgbtventura.org; Human Rights Campaign (HRC), www.hrc.org; National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), www.nclrights.org; Equality California, www.eqca.org