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By: Channel 9 Eyewitness News (AP) Nebraska students showed improvement in this year's statewide writing proficiency test. Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed announced Friday that 66 percentMore>>
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A new bill approved by an Iowa House education subcommittee would give school officials the power to stop cyber bullying among its students.
And a Primghar, IA family knows all too well, the dangers of this kind of bullying.
"Besides the fact that we were brother and sister, we were more like best friends," said Kenneth Weishuhn's sister Kayla.
Kenneth Weishuhn's family says he was always smiling, always fun to be around, but behind those smiles, the 14-year old was hiding bullying and torment.
"They tell you that school is supposed to be a safe place, so that none of that happens. When they bring it online, that makes it that much worse because schools can't do anything about it," said Kayla Weishuhn.
In March of last year, Kenneth came out as a homosexual. He not only told his friends and family, but updated his Facebook status, too.
It was then, that the bullying became unmanageable, online and on the phone.
His family says it was a hurtful Facebook group directed at him that was the breaking point and Kenneth Weishuhn committed suicide on April 15th, 2012.
"I cannot imagine being a teenager, you cannot even go home and feel safe. That's the part that I think is ridiculous," said Kenneth's mother, Jeannie Chambers.
And that's why his loved ones want to see an end to cyber bullying. Kenneth's name was mentioned surrounding the new bill being presented to Iowa legislators that would offer disciplinary rights to schools when it comes to cyber bullying.
"In a way I see it as he didn't really die in vain, gives other people hope too now," said Kayla Weishuhn.
"I'm glad that he's a part of it, but I'm sad that it had to come to this, it's really hard," said Jeannie Chambers.
In the meantime, legislation or not, Kenneth's family wants you to remember one of his favorite quotes: "Be Buddies, Not Bullies."
There is expected to be a hearing in the legislature on the bill later this week.