THE mother of a teenager who was kicked to death because she was a ‘goth’ has slammed the media for using the term to label the US school mass murderer.
Sylvia Lancaster, who runs The Sophie Lancaster Foundation from her home in Haslingden, has accused American and British news outlets of ‘lazy journalism’ in their descriptions of Adam Lanza who shot dead 27 people, including 20 pupils, at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.
Sylvia said: “People have been contacting the charity and expressing their anger at news articles from here and the US which seem to use Lanza’s gothic subculture as an excuse for what he did.
“Obviously what he did was unspeakable and something we are in no way condoning. But it has to be pointed out that the way he dressed has nothing to do with what he did.
“There has to be more to it. The fact that the papers are stereotyping him and implying that all goths are the same is very upsetting. There are obviously lots of complex reasons as to why he did what he did and the media making their own assumptions does not help.
“I personally don’t think he looks like a goth, however he does look alternative.”
Sophie was just 21 when she was attacked in Stubbylee Park, Bacup, with her boyfriend Robert Maltby in 2007.
They were approached by five youths who attacked them simply because of the way they were dressed.
The gang attacked Robert before moving on to Sophie as she tried to protect him. She spent 13 days in a coma before she died. Sylvia said: “As a charity we do a lot of work trying to get children to accept stereotypes and not to be scared by difference.
“Media reaction like this is lazy journalism. From what I’ve read nobody knows why he did what he did yet. But the first thing we have done is pick out what was different about him.”
- The gunman committed suicide as first responders closed in, the governor said yesterday, raising the spectre that Adam Lanza had planned an even more gruesome massacre and was stopped short.
Lanza blasted his way into the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Federal agents are now trying to cast light on Lanza’s life.