A gay teenager from Iowa has taken his own life after his family and friends say that he received death threats on his mobile phone from his classmates, who also made him the subject of a hate group on Facebook.
Local media report that Kenneth Weishuhn Jr., who was 14 years old, was bullied by his classmates at South O’Brien High School after he came out earlier this year. His sister, Kayla, said: “People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him… A lot of people, they either joined in or they were too scared to say anything.”
According to KITV, Ms Weishuhn added that the homophobic bullying also continued online, where the said classmates created a hate group against homosexuals, adding Kenneth’s friends as members.
The teenager curated a Pinterest page called “When I get married” with pictures of wedding rings, same sex couples and gay families pinned to the board.
Jeannie Chambers, Kenneth’s mother, said her son told her: “Mom, you don’t know how it feels to be hated.” She also said that Kenneth’s favourite quotation was: “Be Buddies, Not Bullies.”
Weishuhn Jr. was pronounced dead on Sunday, and the family have arranged his funeral for Thursday in a local church.