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Parents of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi may sue university over son’s suicide

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The parents of Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide after his roommate and another student allegedly broadcast online an intimate encounter with another man, have notified the school they may sue the university.

On Sept. 22, just days after the video was broadcast, Tyler Clementi committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge. He was 18 years old.

Tyler’s parents, Joseph and Jane Clementi of Ridgewood, N.J., filed a legal notice on Friday, an action that puts Rutgers on notice that the Clementi family may seek damages for Tyler’s suicide.

“Subject to further investigation, it appears that Rutgers University failed to act, failed to put in place and/or failed to implement, and enforce policies and practices that would have prevented or deterred such acts, and that Rutgers failed to act timely and appropriately,” the notice said.

Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said the university sympathizes with the family but is not responsible for the freshman’s death.

“We at the university share the family’s sense of loss of their son, who was a member of our community,” Rutgers said in a statement acknowledging receipt of the notice.

“We also recognize that a grieving family may question whether someone or some institution could somehow have responsibility for their son’s death. While the university understands this reaction, (Rutgers) is not responsible for Tyler Clementi’s suicide.”

Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei have been charged with invasion of privacy, and have since dropped out of Rutgers University.

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Filed under: New Jersey

14 more reader comments:

  1. What did the University do wrong?…

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:29pm
  2. sue the kids

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:31pm
  3. I believe the University should have punished the students =/ Sue both the school and the kids if you ask me.

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:32pm
  4. so sad but punish the kids not the university RIP Tyler

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:34pm
  5. Ashley… The students left the school, what was the University to do? Why would you sue someone who had nothing to do with it? That’s like someone committing a crime and suing the City/Town. It doesn’t make sense.

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:34pm
  6. & It all began with the ignorance of the narrow minded

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:35pm
  7. They shouldn’t sue the school

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:37pm

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:42pm
  9. @Kara They should sue the kids Kara, but I don’t disagree with the parents that there is negligence that there is no harassment policy in place at the University for situations like this. =/ Maybe it will cause the University to put non-harassment policies in place that include situations like this so this doesn’t happen again.

    I just don’t understand why they’re not sueing the kids first. That’s where the majority of the blame should lie.

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:43pm
  10. i assume they’re making a smart move, and sueing in order to make the non-discrimination policy more strict… just a theory though, still think the kids should be slammed with mansluaghter

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:48pm
  11. unfortunately schools are more likely to do something(impliment a nondiscrimination policy including sexual orientation and gender identity and expression) if you make a national case out of bulling and hitting the school where it hurts so things like this do not happen again. I agree the kids who did this should be sued too though

    Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 10:53pm
  12. I do think Rutgers has some responsibility toward the safety of their students. Clementi did contact two Rutgers staff members, one at his dorm, seeking assistance. RIP, Tyler. I don't think the university stands alone in the blame. I think the two students involved need to be held accountable. I hope Tyler's parents and sibling can move forward after such a horrific loss and find some peace in their lives. It sounds like Tyler was a great kid. Remember the special times.

    Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 12:01pm
  13. fuck suing them and kick their fucking asses….. on second thought, do both the pricks fucking deserve it!! so what if they’re gay, they should have the same fucking rights as everyone else!!!

    Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010 at 5:22pm
  14. Well… I for one think the University needs to pay up. The two kids who orchestrated the whole thing are guilty of Criminally Negligent homicide. Rutgers, along with most universities, doesn’t do much of anything to protect its students from bullying or harassment. Furthermore, the parents of the two kids, as well as the two kids themselves, need to be named in the suit. The kids need to do some prison time, as well. This was just evil, evil, evil on their part.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 8:40pm