During the recent holiday weekend, 18 year-old Jefferson High School student Lance Lundsten, of Alexandria, Minnesota, took his own life.
Ksax.com reported that the gay teenager, according to peers and those close to him, was subjected to regular bullying at school and this may have lead to his death.
According to his Facebook page, Lundsten was openly gay. On a Facebook memorial page in Lundsten's honor, friends said that Lundsten had been bullied at school for his sexual orientation. Some students who knew Lundsten believed the bullying may have led to his death.
Morgan Hauer, a student at Jefferson High, has since formulated the Jefferson Anti-Bully Coalition, hoping to address this ongoing threat to the youth of today. He posted Sunday, on the site's homepage, his motivation behind the group's creation:
"So everyone, i may have started this group, but it really means nothing unless we take action. words, speeches and petitions can get us far, but the only real way to stand up to bullying is to stop bullying other people, stand up for those being bullied and let authoritative figures know whats going on. without you, this whole idea is pointless and a very beloved schoolmate will have died in vain.
Don't let that happen, we owe at least that much to Lance and everyone else who is, was, or will ever be bullied.
Thank you, Group Founder, Morgan Hauer."
Minnesota Senator Al Franken is working on legislation aimed to protect students from harassment based on their sexual orientation.