Two bullied teen girls in Minnesota commit suicide

Two14-year-old girls took their lives in a suicide pact last week in Marshall, Minn. The two are believed to have been bullied over their relationship.

Appearing on NBC’s “Today Show” on April 14, relatives of Haylee Fentress and Paige Moravetz said the girls might have been more than just friends. Fentress hyphenated her last name on Facebook to include Moravetz’s last name, and Fentress was expelled from school for defending Paige in a fight.

Relatives said the girls were harassed over their weight as well as their romantic relationship.

The two girls’ deaths add to a growing number of suicides in Minnesota and across the country where bullying is suspected to have played a factor.

In the Anoka-Hennepin School District, which is north of Minneapolis, a fierce debate is raging between the parents of LGBT students and right-wing Christians over how to handle the problem following a series of suicides there where anti-LGBT bullying was suspected, reports the Minnesota Independent.

A study published last week in the journal Pediatrics found that teen suicides are more likely in conservative areas and that gay and lesbian teens are more likely to have attempted suicide. The researcher evaluated different communities on “the proportion of same-sex couples, the proportion of registered Democrats, the presence of gay-straight alliances in schools, and nondiscrimination and anti-bullying policies in schools school policies that specifically protected lesbian, gay, and bisexual students.”

The research found that gay students in more tolerant areas were less likely to attempt suicide.