The Washington Post

Sioux City Journal editorial shines a light on bullying same weekend “Bully” comes out

“We are all to blame. We have not done enough. Not nearly enough.”

So read the stark editorial sprawled across the full front page of the Sioux City Journal (Iowa) this past Sunday.

It was published in response to the recent suicide of a 14-year-old local boy who had been bullied at school. After Kenneth Weishuhn apparently told friends he was gay, his family said the harassment began, according to the newspaper.

Alex Libby in the film “Bully.” (The Weinstein Co./THE WEINSTEIN CO.)

“This is not a failure of one group of kids, one school, one town, one county or one geographic area. Rather, it exposes a fundamental flaw in our society, one that has deep-seated roots. Until now, it has been too difficult, inconvenient — maybe even painful — to address. But we can’t keep looking away,” the editorial says.

What makes Weishuhn’s death even more terribly dramatic is that it came just as the new film “Bully” opened in town.

That film, which casts a harsh glare on adult negligence, happens to feature Sioux City. Another local boy who was bullied there, Alex Libby, has become the heroic poster boy for the film and for the issue nationally.

“A lot of newspapers shy away from putting editorials on the front page, but we feel we have to be a strong advocate for our community,” Journal editor Mitch Pugh told the Associated Press. “And if we don’t do that, we’re not sure who else is.”

The newspaper’s writers urge readers to see the movie “Bully” and also to take more responsibility for the way their children treat each other. They suggest more monitoring of social media (guidance many experts in the field suggest) and reviewing national initiatives such as

“Some in our community will say bullying is simply a part of life. If no one is physically hurt, they will say, what’s the big deal? It’s just boys being boys and girls being girls.

“Those people are wrong, and they must be shouted down…” the editorial continues.

“How many times have each of us witnessed an act of bullying and said little or nothing? After all, it wasn’t our responsibility. A teacher or an official of some kind should step in. If our kid wasn’t involved, we figured, it’s none of our business.

“Try to imagine explaining that rationale to the mother of Kenneth Weishuhn.”

Related Content:

‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Bully’ create dilemma for parents

Bullying: We’re against it, but can we agree on a definition?

Social media, teens, parents and whether to ‘friend’


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Be a man and cry
Program turns prisoners into poets
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
Play Videos
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
The most interesting woman you've never heard of
Play Videos
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
The art of tortilla-making
A man committed to journalism, caught in the crossfire
Play Videos
Tips for (relatively) stress-free dining out with kids
How to get organized for back to school
How the new credit card chip makes purchases more secure