A gay Iowa teen has taken his own life after friends and family say that classmates sent him death threats on his cell phone and made him the subject of a Facebook hate group.
As KTIV is reporting, 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. began to be teased and bullied by classmates at South O’Brien High School after he came out earlier this year. “People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him,” sister Kayla Weishuhn, a sophomore, is quoted as saying. “A lot of people, they either joined in or they were too scared to say anything.”
The anti-gay teasing reportedly also continued online, where classmates created a hate group against gays and added Kenneth’s friends as members, and got even worse when the freshman started receiving death threats from students on his phone.
Weishuhn’s mother Jeannie Chambers said her son told her, “Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated.”
Details on Weishuhn’s death are otherwise scarce, but a Facebook group has already been started in the teen’s memory. “Unfortunately, the culture most of us have been raised in has been the mindset that you get ‘picked on’ in school and that’s just part of growing up,” one user writes. “Bullying is like most other crimes, the only way it’s going to stop is if the offenders get caught and are prosecuted.”
Adds another: “I hate to think of what he must have gone through to decide suicide was his only option. I hope and pray all of these bullies feel responsible for what happened.”
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This article originally appeared on: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/kenneth-weishuhn-gay-iowa-teen-suicide_n_1431442.html