I have been avoiding writing about this story for months.
Each time, a person or several persons who were charged with caring, protecting and serving another, in this case children, bungled their responsibilities.
At every turn, adults made very poor, self-serving and irresponsible decisions.
That the jury made the decision to not make a decision seems a fitting, if unsatisfying, end. I think the juror who remarked that this child should not have been tried as an adult is correct. I said it many years ago ... as did many, many others, including the local LGBTQ group (as well as some statewide and national groups).
This could have (and should have) been the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Instead the prosecutors trudged ahead like bulls in a china shop, giving the defense the opportunity to try the victim rather than defend the perpetrator.
The child who committed the crime was never given the opportunity to express remorse, to admit his guilt, to begin important closure that he needs as much as the community does.
I can't even begin to address the dysfunction of the families ... except to say that to lay the blame solely at the steps of the school demonstrates the little sense of responsibility both families had towards their duties as parents, guardians and adults. That Larry's family now intends to try to cash in from his death, after putting him out instead of trying to understand the very confusing life choices he was forced to make by himself, is beyond disgusting.
Still, I wish the two families could have found a way to understand what happened, so that the King family could feel justice and the rest of us could understand that compassion is more important than vengeance.
I wanted to end this post with something uplifting, and it's StoryCorps day, and when I went to the site, I found that the topic was bullying. I cringed as I started to read, but then realized that this is just the right story for this posting.
The man in the story tells about being bullied as the new kid and what happened when he brought a toy gun to school to confront the bully. If only there were a way for Larry and Brandon's story to have ended this way ...
Happy Labor Day weekend .... I hope we will all have a great weekend... I will spend it with my little sister and Sade (and, of course, Lola (the dog), a perfect combination. Hug your family and friends.
Photo credit: me, fancy camera, train trip between NoCal and SoCal. I like the juxtaposition of the scorched earth and the sea, hoping it means there is a promise of life after death. Forgive the reflection from the window... I was just getting used to that camera. Still am...