Nine years ago, Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi took his own life because of a cyberbullying incident. Unknown to Clementi, a classmate live-streamed a same-gender sexual encounter in Clementi’s dorm room. Clementi later jumped off of the George Washington Bridge just one month into his freshman year.
The roommate had used a webcam to record the incident and then posted it on Twitter. He then scheduled a “group watch” party for a second encounter, but that recording was interrupted. The roommate later pleaded guilty to one count of attempted invasion of privacy.
Clementi’s suicide brought much attention nationwide to the issue of cyberbullying as well as to the struggles that LGBT youth face.
Rutgers and New Jersey Acted Quickly To Address Bullying and LGBT Issues
Within two years of Clementi’s death, Rutgers implemented several programs to help support LGBT students in the campus environment. Students have given favorable reviews to new dormitory options and a new Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities.
The New Jersey General Assembly and Senate, in response to Clementi’s suicide and other similar incidents, passed the bipartisan “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” in 2010.
Family Created Tyler Clementi Foundation
Every September, the foundation appeals to Greek life organizations at Rutgers, Seton Hall, and Montclair State Universities to adopt its #Day1 strategy. The strategy declares that bullying, harassment, and humiliation will not be tolerated in any classroom, group, or club setting. The foundation provides scripts customized to each group that can be used by coaches, student leaders, teachers, and other authority figures.
Foundation materials emphasize that bullying is a behavior that, if identified early, can be changed. So in September, as the new school year begins and as the anniversary of Tyler Clementi’s death approaches, individuals are asked to sign the Upstander Pledge committing to speak up and report bullying, as well as to provide comfort to those who are being bullied.
The foundation aims to have one million signatures on the Upstander Pledge by September 2020, the tenth anniversary of his death.
We Can Help If a Family Member Has Faced a Bullying Situation
If you or a family member has experienced bullying, sexual assault, sexual harassment of any kind, or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Essex County Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, a personal injury attorney in Roseland, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.