PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The parents of Tyler Clementi visited the Rutgers University campus Monday for the first time since their son’s suicide last September.

Their son, an 18-year-old freshman, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge days after his roommate allegedly used a webcam to spy on his intimate encounter with another man.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman reports

The Clementis announced the Tyler Clementi Foundation, a not-for-profit organization designed to empower those who are tormented because of the way they look, their sexual orientation, or just for being different, CBS 2’s Jay Dow reported.

“As any parent who has lost a child can tell you, this past year has been the most difficult of our lives,” Joseph Clementi said at the beginning of a daylong symposium on the use and misuse of social networks and new media.

Clementi said the outpouring of compassion from people and organizations has been “humbling and comforting.” “The change that you want to see in the world and in your school begins with you,” Joseph and his wife Jane Clementi added.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

The Clementis co-sponsored the event, aimed at researching and preventing cyberbullying.

Joseph Clementi says his family is on a mission to not only raise awareness of cyber-bullying, but to encourage students to be more responsible in their personal  and digital lives, Dow reported.

“With freedom, which is very important, comes responsibility, and I think we often lose sight of the importance of the way our actions reverberate and affect other people,” said Dr. James Katz, a keynote speaker at today’s symposium.

The Clementis filed notice last December preserving their right to sue the school. A lawsuit has yet to be filed and it is unclear whether they will.

Dharun Ravi, Clementi’s 19-year-old roommate, has pleaded not guilty to 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and the hate crime invasion of privacy.

His trial is set for February.

In March, Rutgers decided to allow men and women to be roommates at three dorms – largely as a way of becoming more welcoming to lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered students.

New Jersey also passed a tougher anti-bullying law to protect students from bullies.

Sound off in our comments section below…

Comments (7)
  1. philjourdan says:

    Such BS!!! Eat a pork sandwich!

  2. Dakotahgeo, Pastor/Chaplain says:

    It is heartwarming to see all of the positive comments on this story. The public is beginning to learn that bullying hurts everyone. This is a lesson well-learned! Blessings and Peace!

  3. DanTe says:

    Was Tyler’s parents receptive to his orientation?

    1. philjourdan says:

      Obviously they were! He was an excellent student, person, and musician! To say anything negative reflects poorly on the commenter.

  4. Memphis Bill says:

    The real world can be cruel regardless of age. Passing more anti-bullying laws won’t help. I believe it was Jerry Butler with the wisdom “Remember only the strong survive.”

    1. MrIncredibleInJesus'Name says:

      Now the strong will survive sans the bullying of the less educated. The anti-bullying laws are already working, thanks to the general publics’ understanding of the problem.

  5. Itduzz says:

    muahahhaha…Naraye Takbeer – ALLAH HU AKBAR

Leave a Reply