Thursday, December 2, 2010

Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill – November 19, 2010 – CNN

(CNN) -- The family of a Rutgers University student who committed suicide after a sexual encounter was broadcast online has consented to the use of his name on a piece of anti-harassment legislation.

The family of Tyler Clementi will allow Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, to use his name in the proposed federal legislation, to be known as the "Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act," an attorney for the family said.

Clementi's body was recovered from the Hudson River in September, more than a week after he jumped from the George Washington Bridge.

The bridge spans the river between New York and New Jersey, which is home to Rutgers. Clementi jumped from the bridge after two other Rutgers students allegedly videotaped a sexual encounter between him and another man and streamed it online.
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NJ Gov. Wonders How Rutgers 'Spies' Can Sleep at Night After
Tyler Clementi's Suicide
By Linsey Davis and Emily Friedman
September 30, 2010 – ABC News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today called the suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi an "unspeakable tragedy" and said he can't imagine how the two students accused of secretly filming Clementi can sleep at night "knowing that they contributed to driving that young man" to suicide.

The governor spoke hours after a body that was pulled from the Hudson River was identified as Clementi. The student leaped to his death after his roommate allegedly secretly filmed him during a "sexual encounter" with a man and posted it live on the Internet.

The medical examiner's office said an autospy revealed the 18-year-old had drowned and suffered blunt impact injuries to his torso.

Christie grew emotional when discussing Clementi's death.

"As the father of a 17-year-old…I can't imagine what those parents are feeling today, I can't. You send your son to school to get an education with great hopes and aspirations, and I can't imagine what those parents are feeling today," he said.

The governor also wondered about the two students accused of taping Clementi, bragging about it online and then trying to catch him on video a second time…

"Not only was Tyler incredibly intelligent, but he was an amazing violin player," said Guentert. "He stood out at every school concert, and never seemed to get nervous. The music really came from his heart."

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Rutgers student Tyler Clementi's final days before suicide emerge in online posts
by Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

Private Moment Made Public, Then a Fatal Jump
By Lisa W. Foderaro, September 29, 2010
The New York Times

Report: One-third of US teens are victims of cyberbullying
by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo,
October 8, 2010 - The Christian Science Monitor

The suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi has brought more attention to cyberbullying. A new study examines the scale of cyberbullying among US teens.

More than half of American teens worry about safety on the Internet and know someone their age who has been targeted by hurtful electronic communications. Nearly a third have been targets themselves.

Those recent survey results, released by the Chicago youth-market research firm TRU, hint at the scale of the problems being addressed more vigorously in the wake of the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi and other cases of cyberbullying.
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Homophobia hurts straight men, too
By Jonathan Zimmerman,
October 6, 2010  
The Christian Science Monitor
New York
In the 1986 movie Stand By Me, an adult protagonist – played by Richard Dreyfuss – looks back wistfully on the friendships he formed in his youth. “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve,” he muses. “Does anyone?”

For most American men, the sad answer is “no.” In surveys, men report that they rarely sustain intimate, long-standing friendships with other males after childhood. And the reason might surprise you: According to a large body of research, they’re afraid of being seen as gay.

I thought of this research as I read about the death of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after a roommate secretly filmed Clementi’s sexual encounter with another man and posted the clip online. Clementi died by himself, but he wasn’t alone: Since the school term began in September, three other adolescent boys around the country also committed suicide following taunts from classmates about their sexual orientation.

In response, gay and lesbian groups called on schools to institute more stringent protections for gay students. Even Secretary of Education Arne Duncan got in on the act, attributing these “unnecessary tragedies” to the “trauma” of homophobic bullying. “This is a moment where every one of us . . . needs to stand up and speak out against intolerance in all its forms.”


He’s right, of course. But to fight intolerance against gay boys, we also need to acknowledge its toll on straights – and our entire culture. Homophobia hurts all of our boys, by driving a wedge between them. Sharing your deepest feelings with another man? That’s so . . . gay. Or so we’ve been taught.
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Homophobia Is Killing Our Youth
by Jason Mannino
April 17, 2009 - Huffington Post

Today is a significant day for silence, youth, and our schools. Today, across the country schools will participate in a National Day of Silence to protest the homophobic bullying that is killing teenagers and honor those whose lives have been taken by the barbaric hands of hatred.

In less than two years there have been four brutal teenage deaths resulting from homophobic bullying. Just last week Carl Walker, an eleven year old in Springfield, Massachusetts , who never actually identified as gay, hung himself with an extension cord from the 3rd floor landing of his home. This was after his mother repeatedly implored his school to do something about the homophobic bullying he experienced. Last summer a transgendered teenager, Angie Zapata, was brutally murdered in Greeley, Colorado. Last February Eric Mohat, a 17-year old student from Ohio, who also never identified as gay, committed suicide after being repeatedly harassed with anti-gay epithets such as "fag" and "homo." His school went to trial last month as a lawsuit was filed by his parents, not because they want the school's money, but because they want to know why the school didn't respond to several requests for action. Also, last year, Lawrence King, a fifteen year old who identified as gay, was shot in the head twice in his English class. He died a few days later. His heart was donated the day after Valentine's day.
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maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of
all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.”

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