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Iowa teen commits suicide; family says he was bullied because he was gay

Monday, April 16, 2012

Update: Family members speak out; a video report from KTIV-TV is here.

PRIMGHAR, Iowa — Authorities in O’Brien County, Iowa are investigating the death of Kenneth Weishuhn, Jr., 14-year-old gay teen who committed suicide late Saturday night.

Kenneth Weishuhn, Jr. (via Facebook)

Kenneth, a student at South O’Brien High School in Paullina, Iowa, reportedly came out as gay a few months ago, and had been bullied since.

KITV-TV has more:

Family members say he committed suicide because he was bullied, both at school and online, for being gay.

School officials say that kind of behavior is not tolerated.

Right now, they say they’re focused on the tragic loss of a student and helping Kenneth’s classmate cope. Counselors from area schools were available to South O’Brien students today and will be back Tuesday.

via: KTIV-TV

Kenneth was pronounced dead on Sunday.

Funeral Services are scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2012 at the Grace Lutheran Church in Primghar, Iowa.

Friends posted this tribute on YouTube:

A Facebook memorial page is here.

Developing story; updated article is here.

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Filed under: Iowa

98 more reader comments:

  1. gaaaaah i hate things like that :/

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:33pm
  2. How many more do we have to lose for prejudiced people to see that what they’re doing is wrong??

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:33pm
  3. Not again :(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:33pm
  4. ohh no… Come on… why? Please people need to stop this… madness. It is out of control.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:34pm
  5. What is this world coming too

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:34pm
  6. and the madness and sadness continues.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:34pm
  7. So sad:(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:34pm
  8. Once again, many members of the Republican party, & many religous groups have blood on their hands…..

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:35pm
  9. no its not we are getting bullied and everything else we will be silent cuz yall are bulling us

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:35pm
  10. wen is this gonna stop people need to get over the fact that lgbtq people exist and suck it up cuz killin us and makin it to the point where we want to kill ourselves only makes you look very cold hearted and a disgrace

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:35pm
  11. It gets me upset & angry when people bullie other people because of what they like, especially when they take their own life. When love overcomes the power of war, then the world will be at peace.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:35pm
  12. so sad.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:35pm
  13. diz juz makes my chest hurt!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:36pm
  14. Why again?! How can be people be so horrible and prejudice against peoples differences. We must learn to love and accept, not hate and destroy. My heart goes out to this young and their family. If only there was something the rest of the world could have done to help him realize what a beautiful man he was. Come on people. Let’s fix this vicious cycle

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:36pm
  15. ^^^^ omg mine too :/

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:36pm
  16. Agree 100% with all comments..this shit needs to STOP and STOP NOW!!!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:37pm
  17. Teens shouldve called for help by parents or hotline or anyone who is trusted.. Come on now n has to stop commit suicide is enough!!!! No need to kill.. It gets better someday….

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:37pm
  18. It breaks my heart. Not again.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:37pm
  19. His hometown is also an indicator, which is generally what the Trevor Project anticipates.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:37pm
  20. Why doesn’t someone help these kids, where are the people in school who should be stopping this kind of behavior. I just don’t get it and this has to stop. Wasn’t there anyone this kid could have gone to. Wasn’t there someone who could help him.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:37pm
  21. This is so sad . i am in tears over the loss of another life from the world “(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:38pm
  22. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!….THE HATERS NEED TO STOP THE BULLYING & HATING…WE ALL BLEED THE SAME COLOR..NO MATTER WHAT OUR SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS. MY PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE WEISHUHN FAMILY…I AM TRULY SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:39pm
  23. Heartbreaking, disturbing, frustrating… what are these soulless little monsters being taught at home? We minimize this by calling it “bullying”… bullying is telling someone they suck at basketball, or that they can’t sit with the “cool” kids at lunch. We need to call it what it is… a hate crime, and deal with it as such.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:39pm
  24. someone needs to help cause this is getting out of control

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:40pm
  25. Can someone please tell me why these young kids dont have a back bone anymore? Dont they know once they get through school they have a whole life ahead of them without these jerks picking on them? I was bullied in school. It was not fun. I was also in a gay bashing once before as well and I got through school and everything else. Now I am in a much better place and I have no regrets from school and I am now even friends with some of them. So I just dont get it. There has to be more to this than what it is. I am now 33! Everyone is just to sensituve these days and these parents need to teach these kids to grow a back bone and not listen to what these assholes are saying to them. Things are just so different these days. The country is getting weak….

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:41pm
  26. Apparently not news worthy but in wdm iowa carson vandeventar took his life april 16th…. find peace in the arms of the angels

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:41pm
  27. This is too much!!!!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:42pm
  28. :(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:43pm
  29. RIP

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:45pm
  30. No reason that this person should have been bullied at school. Each and every teacher needs to stand up and take notice. When I went to school nothing got by the teachers. They are turning their backs and ignoring the facts that these students need protection from these evil children. I don’t want to hear that teachers are not there for this and that. We pay taxes that pay for the schools. OUR children need to be safe and know that they are protected from these bullies and their rights to an education will stay safe. I say take away funding to the schools that will and can not PROTECT our kids.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:46pm
  31. I wish I could get every lgbtq person together and tell them they are not a lone and they are loved :/ this makes me sad ! Bullying has gone WAY too far ! We need to end bullying :(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:46pm
  32. This is just awful, I want to help so badly. I am working really hard in university so that I can get the grades to go grad school for clinical and specialize in issues related to the LGBTTQ community. Hopefully I will be able to work on some programs for schools and also do some counseling.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:46pm
  33. Nathan your right. But on the contrary I have a backbone. I’m still in high-school and people tried making fun of me but I didint give not one fuck. I stuck to my faith and real friends. And I still stick with them. My life has gotten better. I’m stronger than ever.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:47pm
  34. That poor child. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:47pm
  35. not again

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:48pm
  36. I am currently a freshmen in college and i am experiencing the same thing. This makes me want to keep pushing and fight through it. For his sake. My prayers go out to his family. This world is messed up and people need to get over themself and realize that lgbtq people do exist and just let us live our life. This is soo sad. This shouldn’t happen to anyone. People shouldn’t get bullied to the point of them ending their life.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:49pm
  37. Bethany… very sorry to hear about your friend… this took 2 days to become news on here… give it a little time

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:50pm
  38. Such a sad and sorry waste of life. I didn’t know Kenneth, but I wish I had. I would have told him that it does get better and that he’s not alone. God bless!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:50pm
  39. Again a young teen takes their life because of stupid low lives fucking bs i swear we need to hunt down these bullies and show them what us gays can do

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:50pm
  40. It saddens me to no end when I see things like this, that they were so alienated that they felt they couldn’t get help from anyone, not even their parents.
    Nathan, if you had any idea how bad depression is you would realize that it’s not that easy. Some people can’t get over it some people can’t get any better and hold out until school is over. Even then they may still feel hopeless. This isn’t happening anymore than it used to when you were that age, it’s just become a big issue now. This counrty has always been weak. You’ve just coe to realize it with yor age.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:50pm
  41. Terrible!! When will this stop?? RIP!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:51pm
  42. I just want to know how many people do we have to watch die before the BULLYING stops? These kids should be protected from this crap. It is EVERYONES job! Parents,teachers.principals,janitors,secretaries. If you see someone being bullied or if they have enough courage to tell you that they are being bullied then HELP them. Don’t let this happen to your child.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:51pm
  43. this is sad :(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:52pm
  44. These postings have GOT to end….. come on World, Wake Up and Let US BE!!!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:53pm
  45. its so sad that these kids are doin this they just want to be loved and seems people dont accept them,. well im tired of this hateful stuff. Wish thy would talk to someone who understands them. I have been in this situation but i never took my lifeI realize family should love their kids no matter who they love. Boy when r people goin to realize that if they read the whole bible God loves all his children no matter who they r. Boy people wake up and realize ur children ned help and this bulling needs to stop. I say like I know when I was young I was bullied and then I beat the bullies up and then they wanted to be my friend and i said hell no. Goes to show u beat them up and they will leave u alone. So if u need someone to talk to i m hear fo u been there.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:53pm
  46. It’s so sad that this person can’t see these posts and know how much people care. What can we do as the LGBT Nation to help. ????

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:53pm
  47. Another person worthy of a happy, and fulfilling life taken away because of the selfish people who pushed him over the edge. RIP. My condolences to his friends, and family.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:55pm
  48. Sometimes the bulies are the teachers and the parents

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:56pm
  49. Heartbreaking

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:59pm
  50. God Bless, prayers to the family! :(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:59pm
  51. The only one that cared for me was my Grams may sh RIP she told me as long as ur happy and she lways went to church and accepted who people were. She had a heart full of gold. And then when she met my partner she fell in love with him, and my grams watches over me because i always feel her presence. Please people stop the hate GOD hates this stuff.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 5:59pm
  52. How many of u people that say this is such a shame….actually care enough to get involved in ur community …and reach out to lgbt youth…..its up to us to be the intervention and mentors

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:00pm
  53. So so sad.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:01pm
  54. Join pflag…… demand the schools are held accountable….know what ur k ids are doing on the net….get involved….pay attention

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:02pm
  55. This needs to be stopped. The local governments need to realize what’s going on here, & make laws against it.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:03pm
  56. This is not fair I felt so bad. RI P

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:04pm
  57. not again when will this all end

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:06pm
  58. I graduated high school in 2003 during a time when it was popular to be gay at my school, or at least act like it, but even then I didn’t come out to anybody but a handful of really close friends. With how much meaner and hateful kids have gotten since I graduated if I was still in high school today I wouldn’t even come out to my closest friends.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:09pm
  59. when is it going to end??? the teen deaths due to being bullied? so very sad, so many losses, and yet it continues!!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:09pm
  60. Steve King, who was recently in the news for his homophobic beliefs, represents the area where this young man lived. These right wing politicians set the tone in these places. They have blood on their hands.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:14pm
  61. It is maddening and the Family Research Council should be put out of business they are culpable and they should be silenced not the day of silence. I am sorry for his family and friends and sorry he lost his life but believe God will keep him safe.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:16pm
  62. Another beautiful life cut short. I feel so sad for his friends and family and will pray for the day that I NEVER EVER have to read a story like this one again. When will that day come?

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:19pm
  63. When I clicked like I was liking that this news was diseminated not that the poor fellow commited suicide.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:21pm
  64. So Sad that some Gay teens have to go through this kind of abuse!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:30pm
  65. This has to STOP!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:34pm
  66. *sigh* :-(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:34pm
  67. I couldn’t bring myself to click “like”….it breaks my heart that there is so much needless and unwarranted hatred and bigotry being spouted by so many towards fellow human beings. <3

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:40pm
  68. sad

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:42pm
  69. god this makes me mad at all those fucking “haters” out there. I’m sick of it and I’m beyond mad. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:52pm
  70. that’s so sad :[

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:58pm
  71. Hearbreaking

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:59pm
  72. Another sad day…and another young life lost…BULLYING SUCKS & IS FOR LOSERS!!!!

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:00pm
  73. heart goes out to the family

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:03pm
  74. It upsets me that this is even happening. We unfortunately live in a hateful society. This needs to STOP and NOW! My prayers are with him and his family<3

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:03pm
  75. very sad :’(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:05pm
  76. this is so sad. this could have been anybody. this has to stop. 4/20/2012 Day of Silence.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:07pm
  77. people ned to fight not like bully win that what people are doing

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:11pm
  78. :(

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:38pm
  79. R.I.P Kenneth you’ll be missed

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:51pm
  80. dumbest choice for the kid he should have fought through instead of killing him self

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 7:57pm
  81. WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING????? I am just so saddened by these suicides… I am going into School Counseling for this VERY REASON and I am bound and determined to make a difference in high schools…..

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 8:04pm
  82. How many more do we have to lose?

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 8:17pm
  83. another beautiful child gone!!!..as a nation we need to fight against this intolerance!!!..while the schools should be more involved and aware this, like other forms of ignorance, start in the home!!!..until we start to teach our children to love, to tolerate, to understand that every person deserves equality then bullying and violence, hatred and torment towards and against these lgbt kids will continue!!!!..it has to stop and please, please let your kids know its ok to be who you are its ok and yes it will probably be rough going…but it does get better!!!!…#straightbutsupportive

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 8:18pm
  84. I HATE this crap. It’s so unnecessary.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 8:20pm
  85. And republicans rejoice at this?

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 8:22pm
  86. This really needs to stop. Any straight person contributing to this need to go put a gun to their OWN head instead of driving others to suicide.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 9:13pm
  87. That is so sad to hear that this issue continues.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 9:14pm
  88. This is so sad. When are people going to learn that bullying someone for who they are is wrong? My heart goes out to Kenneth’s family and every other family or teen that struggles with bullies.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 9:27pm
  89. Bullying has taken ANOTHER young soul from us. Now its in OUR STATE!

    Please Join us here in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday April 24th at 7pm in YOUR COMMUNITY and organize a Rally in ANY town here in the GREAT STATE OF IOWA!

    Let our Voices Be Heard to Lawmakers/churches/schools/etc… that as IOWANS we KNOW THIS NEEDS TO STOP!

    Please look for further details coming soon!

    any help you may need in organizing in your neck of the woods please contact me at basixqueen@gmail.com or on Facebook under Pretty Belle.

    LETS DO THIS!!!

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/257509151011860/

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 9:31pm
  90. A law needs to be passed now. If someone bullies another, another for them wanting take away their own, be straight or gay, should NOT be allowed to have a future. They take away someone’s future, they shouldn’t have a future for themselves.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 9:32pm
  91. Sad news. *Heartbreaking for his family, friends and everyone who knew him*. This has to be stopped.

    Posted on Monday, April 16, 2012 at 11:13pm
  92. How could no one have noticed that something was wrong? The first thing I noticed in the video was how sad his eyes were. Even in this picture his eyes doesn’t smile.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 1:03am
  93. A long we to go, we have.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 1:56am
  94. What kind of kids are parents bringing up these days. What makes theses kids think they have the right to drive another one to a point where they feel their live has no purpose or hope and end up killing themselves to relieve the pain. Parenting also means monitoring your kids behavior and dealing with any signs of being a bully.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 3:01am
  95. May all gays be safe!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 4:57am
  96. And so where was the family to get the proper help from authorities before this happened?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:18am
  97. Sending thoughts and prayers!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:27am
  98. This young man would have been welcomed in my home…

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 4:31pm