Another tragedy has occurred. Another young gay life has been lost.
18 year old Lance Lundsten of Miltona, Minnesota took his life over the weekend after suffering extreme bullying and harassment at the hands of others for years. Lance had revealed on Facebook that he was openly gay, and some students at his high school said he was constantly bullied for his sexual orientation. students who knew Lundsten believed the bullying may have led to his suicide.
Senator Al Franken sent his condolences Monday and said he hopes a new bill could change how lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) students are treated.
“My heart goes out to Lance’s family, and friends and loved ones. It’s a tragic event, not only for them, but for the school, and the Alexandria community and really for all of us. LGBT kids really do need (more) protection, They’re two or three times more likely than straight kids to get bullied. Nine in ten LGBT students said they’ve been bullied or harassed and almost two-thirds say they don’t feel safe in school.”
“On Martin Luther King Day … we want to celebrate the American values that have broken down barriers that prevent all citizens from having … the same opportunities to succeed … This is another barrier that still needs to be broken. We need to have more acceptance of LGBT students.” “We need to create in our schools, an atmosphere where bullying isn’t really accepted in anyone.”
Jefferson High School’s Student/Parent Handbook’s harassment policies of the school that Lance attended, prohibit verbal assaults toward a staff member or student which degrades people because of their “race, sex, religion, ethnic background, physical or mental handicaps,” along with harassment and violence in regards to sex, race or religion. Sexual orientation is not a part of its policies.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Lances family and friends and may Lance finally find peace and rest.