Gay Iowa teen commits suicide after repeated bullyingBreaking News, Top Highlights Wednesday, April 18th, 2012
Northwest Iowa is mourning the death of a 14-year-old gay Iowa teen who took his own life Monday following a series of bullying, death threats, and an online hate group where he lay subject to repeated harassment.
Kenneth Weishuhn, Jr. of South O’Brien High School came out as gay earlier this year. The teen began to be teased and bullied by his classmates and his group of friends.
“People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him,” said sister Kayla Weishuhn, a sophomore at the same high school. “A lot of people, they either joined in or they were too scared to say anything.”
The bullying continued online where several students created a hate group against LGBTs, later adding Kenneth to the list of targeted people. The teen also received death threats on his cell phone according to reports at KTIV.
“When I’d question him about the phone calls, like he just blew it off, so I just thought everything was ok,” said his mother.
A Facebook page in Weishuhn’s memory has been created. Says one member, “When I read about Kenneth this morning it struck me to the bone – again and again I read about young people giving up, surrounded by non-caring relatives, teachers, school mates. How lonely must he – and all the others – have felt to choose suicide as last exit.”
Adds another, “Compassion for all types of people needs to start at home. Hate crimes and bullying are detestable and it is everyone’s duty to educate offenders and stand up for the victims.”
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