Clementi family speak out against cyber-bullying
The family of Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi (pictured) have said on US television they have come to believe he killed himself in part because his roommate used a webcam to see him kissing another man.
“It was the humiliation that his roommates and his dorm-mates were watching him in a very intimate act. And that they were laughing behind his back,” his mother, Jane Clementi said on NBC's Rock Centre program.
“The last thing that Tyler looked at before he left the dorm room for the bridge [he jumped from] was the Twitter page, where [his roommate] was announcing Tyler’s activities.”
His parents, who are evangelical Christians, said they had changed their views about homosexuality since their son’s suicide.
They did struggle to accept that their son was gay when he came out to them, but now they embrace the fact that some people are gay.
“Sin needs to be taken out of homosexuality,” said Tyler Clementi’s father, Joe Clementi.
“Our children need to understand — and adults need to understand — that they’re not ... broken.”
Tyler's brother James Clementi, who is also gay, said he believes his brother may have been depressed, but the webcam spying aggravated his problems and contributed to his suicide.
Clementi's room-mate Dharun Ravi was convicted of 15 criminal charges related to Clemeti's death, although he was not charged with causing his death.
He could have gone to prison for ten years, but the judge sentenced him to just 30 days and with time off for good behaviour he was out in 20 days.
After sentencing Ravi released an apology which has been rejected by Clementi’s parents as nothing more than a PR stunt.
About the Author
Ron Hughes is the editor of SA's only LGBTI magazine, blaze.