Western Iowa daily newspaper Sioux City Journal devoted its whole Sunday front page to an anti-bullying editorial after a gay teen killed himself last week.
14-year-old Kenneth Weishuhn reportedly received threats from classmates and was the target of a hateful Facebook group after friends at school found out he was gay. Weisuhn’s sister says that’s what lead the teenager to kill himself.
The Sioux City Journal is using the case to call for people to step in to stop bullying:
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.
In Kenneth’s case, the warnings were everywhere. 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.
I’ve emailed the managing editor and opinions editor at the Journal about their decisions to put the editorial on the front. I’ll post comments when I hear back from them.