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In Memoriam

Remembering Tyler Clementi, one year since gay teen jumped to his death

Thursday, September 22, 2011

On this day one year ago, Tyler Clementi — an 18-year-old student at Rutgers University — jumped to his death from the George Washington bridge after a sexual encounter he had with another man was allegedly streamed online by his roommate.

Tyler was a gifted and award-winning violinist, who played with the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra and participated in the Bergen Youth Orchestra as concertmaster.

Tyler Clementi

Tyler’s death was the third in what would become a spate of suicides among gay, or perceived gay, teens that occurred in September and October 2010, and the first to gain international attention and be reported extensively by mainstream media due to the impact of bullying and cyber-bullying of the victims.

Two Rutgers University students — Dharun Ravi, Tyler’s roommate, and Molly Wei — allegedly placed a camera in Tyler’s dorm room and streamed the images onto the internet on Sept. 19.

Ravi was also accused of setting up his webcam to try to capture Tyler in a second liaison two days later.

On Sept. 22, 2010, Tyler left a final goodbye on his Facebook page that read “jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.”

Police recovered Tyler’s body on September 29 in the Hudson River just north of the bridge.

Since Tyler’s suicide, New Jersey’s Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act was passed and signed by Gov. Chris Christie in January. Advocates say it’s one of the toughest laws of its kind in the nation.

On April 20, Ravi received a 15-count indictment, including a charge of the hate crime of bias intimidation, for his alleged actions that led to Tyler’s death, and for trying to cover up it up afterward.

Weeks later, Wei struck a plea deal to avoid jail time on the condition she testifies against Ravi.

Earlier this year, Tyler parents, Jane and Joseph Clementi, announced plans to start the Tyler Clementi Foundation, which will focus on promoting awareness of bullying, particularly cyber-bullying.

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Filed under: New Jersey

10 more reader comments:

  1. So, will it take one a year, two a year, one a month…. until people get it?

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:20pm
  2. Hopefully it doesn’t take that long

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:22pm
  3. Very sad :-< I hope people don’t wait for more and more tragedies before paying attention.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:26pm
  4. With every suicide we lose future doctors, artists, musicians, writers, scientists, friends, athletes… And all for what? Some cheap amusement at someone else’s expense… This society is terrible when you can’t even feel safe in a place of knowledge or culture…

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 7:30pm
  5. so sad

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:16pm
  6. may Tyler never be forgotten

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:16pm
  7. R.I.P

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:22pm
  8. He will not be forgotten by me.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 4:53am
  9. For young homosexual, it is difficult to accept that their sexuality is different of normative social, at an age or the young Gay looks for himself sexually. It is confronted that in her hard societal reality, which accepts often by force of reconnaitre the homosexuality. The pressure of the family, the education, the school, the religion are elements which influence the balance of the young Gays. The world of the work, often throws back(rejects) violement, as the students make him by pressures and dangerous jokes. In France we know the same thing concerning the young Gays, the suicide is present in our company(society)…( From France )

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:50pm
  10. the straight world is full of hate.

    Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 3:32am