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Sioux City Journal Editorial: 'We Are All to Blame' for Gay Teen's Suicide

April 23, 2012 09:59:35 am

The Sioux City Journal in Iowa attracted national attention Sunday when it published a front-page editorial decrying bullying, after a teenager in the area who had been subjected to harassment committed suicide. The editorial began, "Siouxland lost a young life to a senseless, shameful tragedy last week. By all accounts, Kenneth Weishuhn was a kind-hearted, fun-loving teenage boy, always looking to make others smile. But when the South O'Brien High School 14-year-old told friends he was gay, the harassment and bullying began. It didn't let up until he took his own life."

The paper continued, "Sadly, Kenneth's story is far from unique. Boys and girls across Iowa and beyond are targeted every day. In this case sexual orientation appears to have played a role, but we have learned a bully needs no reason to strike. No sense can be made of these actions. Now our community and region must face this stark reality: We are all to blame. We have not done enough. Not nearly enough. This is not a failure of one group of kids, one school, one town, one county or one geographic area. Rather, it exposes a fundamental flaw in our society, one that has deep-seated roots. Until now, it has been too difficult, inconvenient -- maybe even painful -- to address. But we can't keep looking away."

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