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Sioux City, Iowa, paper devotes front page to fighting bullying, after 14-year-old gay boy kills self

BY TIMBERLY ROSS, ASSOCIATED PRESS

SIOUX CITY, Iowa -- In a rare and forceful act of advocacy, an Iowa newspaper devoted the entire front page of its Sunday edition to an anti-bullying editorial after a gay teen committed suicide.

Relatives have said 14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. suffered intense harassment, including threatening cellphone calls and nasty comments posted online, after coming out to family and friends about a month ago. He died April 15 from what the local sheriff's office described only as a "self-inflicted injury."

The Sioux City Journal's front-page opinion piece calls on the community to be pro-active in stopping bullying and urges members to learn more about the problem by seeing the acclaimed new film, "Bully," which documents the harassment of a Sioux City middle school student. It notes that while many students are targeted for being gay, "we have learned a bully needs no reason to strike."

"In Kenneth's case, the warnings were everywhere," the editorial said. "We saw it happen in other communities, now it has hit home. Undoubtedly, it wasn't the first life lost to bullying here, but we can strive to make it the last.

Click here to read the complete article.

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