Students are coming to terms with the sudden death of their 14-year-old friend late Saturday night. He had friends at South O'Brien and at neighboring schools.More >>
Kenneth Weishuhn was only a freshman at South O'Brien High School. That's located in Paullina, Iowa.
Family and friends say the 14-year-old was happy. But, beneath that smile, there was a lot of pain.
"He says, 'Mom, you don't know how it feels to be hated," said Jeannie Chambers.
Kenneth Weishuhn didn't know either, until he told his friends last month that he was gay.
"People that were originally his friends, they kind of turned on him," said his sister Kayla Weishuhn.
Teasing started in school, according Kayla, a sophomore. She says it was the boys in her class, that bullied her brother over his sexuality.
"A lot of people, they either joined in or they were too scared to say anything," she said.
She says they took their teases online, to websites like Facebook, creating a hate group against gays and adding Kenneth's friends as members. However, it was only the beginning, family say he started receiving death threats from South O'Brien students on his phone.
"When I'd question him about the phone calls, like he just blew it off, so I just thought everything was ok," said his mother.
According to Kenneth's mother Jeannie, those South O'Brien boys were given a warning, but she was never contacted by the school. She's unsure whether she'll press charges against the students she says drove her son to his death.
"I really don't want to ruin somebody else's life, or take someone else's son or daughter from them. But, I don't know what it's going to take to get it to stop," said Chambers.
"To make someone feel so horrible about themselves, so miserable. To make them hate themselves they way my brother must have," said his sister.
For now, Kenneth's family is trying to come to terms with their loss.
"He was like my best friend. He was the only person that I could trust with anything,"
"Why you were so beautiful, you had so much to offer, why?" asked his mother.
A life full of promise cut short.
Family says Kenneth's favorite quote was "be buddies, not bullies."
His funeral will be held Thursday morning at Grace Lutheran Church in Primghar.
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