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Franken Responds to Latest Teen Suicide

Franken Responds to Latest Teen Suicide

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U.S. senator Al Franken of Minnesota, sponsor of legislation that would call for antibullying measures in public schools, expressed his condolences to the family of Lance Lundsten, an 18-year-old from Miltona, Minn., who died in an apparent suicide.

KSAX TV reports that authorities believe Lundsten's death was a suicide. Police officers responded to an emergency call at his family's residence in Miltona around 10 p.m. Saturday, and he was taken to Douglas County Hospital, where he died. Friends of Lundsten said the 18-year-old was the target of bullying for his sexual orientation.

"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 [community] and really for all of us," Franken said.

Last year Franken introduced a Senate bill explicitly addressing antigay bullying in public schools. Of the legislation, he toldThe Advocate in October, "It's clear that we need to do more to protect our students from bullying and harassment, and it's time that we extend equal rights to LGBT students. No student should be subjected to discrimination and harassment in school, and we must tackle this problem at every level -- local, state, and federal."

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