NEW YORK (CBS 2 ) — Tyler Clementi’s death is being felt across the country, especially in his tight-knit hometown of Ridgewood, New Jersey.
Students at Ridgewood High were dismissed early Tuesday so faculty and staff could prepare for a Thursday school-wide assembly designed to help kids understand and confront their feelings about Clementi’s death.
“I just think it’s about time the school addressed it and I think it will definitely address a lot of the problems we have in our school,” senior student Alex Antonacci told CBS 2’s Kristine Sloan.
Clementi committed suicide by jumping off of the George Washington Bridge two weeks ago after a sexual encounter with another man was broadcast online by two fellow students.
The Bergen County community where Clementi grew up is still reeling from the tragic death.
Students at Ridgewood said Clementi isn’t the first from their school to take his own life. This summer, Kaitlyn Alvaro, who would have been a senior, committed suicide after losing her mother.
Parents and students have questioned how the school system handled the tragedies.
“It was not mentioned as a suicide and I think the education system was lacking in that,” parent Andrea Glickhous said.
The Superintendent of Schools said “issues are addressed on a pretty consistent basis” and that “we have had counselors available.”
But parents are pleased the student assembly for Clementi is finally scheduled.
Also on Monday, the attorney for Molly Wei, one of the two Rutgers students charged with spying on Clementi, commented on the case for the first time. Wei’s lawyer said his client is innocent and that she has been maligned by unfounded attacks.