Police say Lincoln High teen shoots himself from being bullied - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Police say Lincoln High teen shoots himself from being bullied

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By: Ian Hest
ihest@klkntv.com

A Lincoln High School boy has died after his family says he shot himself from being bullied in school.

A sophomore at Lincoln High School, Ben Lewis's family says he battled bullies almost every day he went to school. The school says they were never made aware of any problems, but now, with Ben gone his family hopes that his story wills top this sort of thing from ever happening again.

15-year-old Benjamin Lewis was born with Asberger's syndrome, a form of Autism. Still, his family remembers him joking around like any regular teenager. They say Ben faced many challenges from other kids in school, being picked on for being different his entire life.

Ben was at his grandmother's house on Saturday when his family believes he shot himself. He passed away a day later.

"Ben was a very fun kid. He's a free spirit. He loved to be around family and people that really accepted him for who he was," said Ben's uncle, Jeremy Bibelheimer.

This was his first year in Lincoln. His family says he and his mother moved from Omaha after suffering similar harassment there. They wish he would've been even more vocal about the problems he faced so they could've acted sooner.

"Just tell somebody that's involved. Just tell a teacher or family member. Parents, listen to your kids. Put down the cell phone and the computers, just listen to them," said Bibelheimer.

His family hopes Ben's legacy can help end bullying and make parents more aware to talk to their kids about what's going on at school. "School's advocate 'We have a zero-tolerance policy against bullying' and what exactly does that mean? Yes, you have a zero-tolerance policy but what does that mean? What are the resources? What's that you know?"

The family has a fun set up at Wells Fargo Bank. Lincoln High has also notified students and has a crisis team fro students to talk to if they wish.

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