Tyler Clementi’s Parents: Prosecute His Bullies, But Don’t Give Them A ‘Harsh Punishment’

The tragedy of Tyler Clementi, who six months ago jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and a friend secretly set up a live webcast of his intimate encounter with another man, should be used to “make something positive,” say his parents (through their attorney) where they call for the prosecution of — but lenient sentencing for — his two accused bullies. Tyler’s roommate Dharun Ravi and his friend Molly Wei were both charged with two counts of invasion of privacy, but they’ve yet to even be arraigned or indicted. (Both claim innocence.) But once they are, say his parents, they should not receive a “harsh punishment.” But, let the case move forward: “We feel it is important to establish accountability and to further establish that Tyler was subject to criminal acts, not merely a college prank as some may argue.”

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  • Fitz

    Yeah, cuz they are experts on positive parenting of gay kids. Sorry Menard, your opinion is totally null and void. You raised your kid to be so afraid of his sexuality that he KILLED himself rather than be found out. Good work. Now STFU.

  • Bryan

    The comment above did make me think, how come the parents of most of these kids aren’t investigated or at least checked out after the deaths? They all come out with the “he was a good kid, we love him so much” line, but I refuse to believe all of the kids who’ve so far killed themselves for after being outed because of the fear of being found out had such wonderful, understanding parents at home.

  • Brian-

    Or heres a thought, the parents arent homophobic but just want the whole thing done with so they can begin to live again. No one has ever said that Clementi killed himself from shame his parents would find out he was gay. Only he knows his reasons and hes dead, so he can’t exactly tell us now can he? Maybe he was ashamed that all his classmates would see him having sex (gay or straight sex is public taboo for a lot of people). Or maybe he was so worried about what his mom would think that he killed himself. I dont know, you dont know, his parents dont know.

    Either way its tragic. Snipping at his parents for talking about forgiveness is pretty pathetic, forgiveness is a good thing people. An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind (blah blah blah)

    I know someone who killed himself instead of being outted in 1996. His parents were devasted because they had known he was gay but were attempting to let him come out to them on his own terms and live his own life. A bully outted him at school and he decided to take his life even though he had friends and family that supported ihm

    We’re not on the inside, so we don’t know everything that happened… so Fitz, how about you stfu?

  • Hyhybt

    The thing is, a lot of people who *think* their parents would react badly to their coming out turn out to be wrong; either the parents don’t have a problem with it, or they are at least willing to set that aside. That includes parents who change their views on gayness when (or soon after) finding out their own kid is gay. So that he was afraid of their finding out doesn’t mean all that much.

    Besides, almost nobody wants their parents to run across video of them having sex!

  • DJ

    @Fitz: That is so true. It’s pathetic that they couldn’t equip their kid with the skills necessary to love and protect himself. Even though my parents don’t support my sexuality, I’m not so afraid of disappointing them to the point where I have to kill myself.

    If I was in Tyler’s situation and somebody tried that shit with me, I’d first take it to the police. If I wasn’t satisfied with what the police did, I would’ve thrown THEIR asses off that bridge and said it was self defense.

  • Paul Gerthoffer

    @Brian….you make the only sane comments out of a list of hateful, ignorant comments. Seriously, they sound like friends of Ravi and Wei. Don’t understand why all the judging and hateful comments from people with absolutely no intelligence. Really, are they that spiteful that they have to resort to blaming the parents and the victim? Pathetic really……

  • Fitz

    I stand by my comments. My parents aren’t perfect… but I sure as heck was never so afraid that they would find out that I would even consider taking my life. There has been plenty written about his parents being fundies. You have to equip your kids better. You have to put your kid’s well being above your religious leaders. That’s family values.

    And their authority on this issue? PUHLEEEAZE
    When I start listening to some fundie who’se kid had to off himself on how to deal with gay rights, then throw ME off the bridge.

  • DJ

    @Paul Gerthoffer: I stand by what I say too. What happened was sad but it was also stupid and so unnecessary. Having your goodies put on the internet is not a bad enough reason for you to go kill yourself. If he was smart and mentally stronger, he would’ve sued them for a shit load of money. Just sayin’…

  • h

    @Fitz: Um no. I seriously wanted to kill myself before ever coming out to my parents when I was in high school 4 years ago. The good thing is that I was not stupid enough to actually do it.

    I eventually came out to my parents when I was in college and had all the support I needed to do it. When I did I thought I was not going to see my parents ever again because they were going to reject me, but they didn’t. I’m their pride and joy today, the only son out of 4 to go to college, the one that paid of their house completely. My brothers are now always trying to hook me up gay guys it’s hilarious.

    I’m sure Tyler felt the same way I did but he was stupid enough to actually do it + he was pushed out of the closet, I had the luxury of doing it when I was ready.

  • Jeffree

    It’s interesting to speculate on the parents’ and Tyler’s attitudes and possible state of mind, but the reality is that no one can do anything but guess or make hypotheses.

    We also don’t know what other pressures Tyler may have been academically, socially, physically or emotionally.

    As for leniency on the two snoops, I’m afraid they may not be adequately punished by the courts, but their names will be for ever associated with what happened with Tyler. I hope that dark shadow follows them as they seek jobs.

  • Cam

    Ok, just a few things to remember here….

    MANY children have fears and insecurities. Does every girl who thinks she’s fat and diets have horrible parents? Does every straight guy who is afraid to ask a girl out in school have horrible parents?

    He didn’t kill himself at home after somebody found out…he killed himself after a sexual encounter of his was broadcast over the internet to his entire college. In my opinion his parents had less to do with it than that.

    Think of how ANYBODY would feel in that situation, then throw on the fact that you just came out to the entire school, maybe he was less worried about his parents then he was about being in school where everybody not only now knew he was gay, but also had seen him in a prn movie that he never signed up to play in. He complained to the school and they did nothing.

    So before you blame the parents completely remember what the facts of this case were.

  • Dean

    They only thing they should be charged for is voyeurism and they should be given probation with no jail time. No way they could have known he would jump and as callous as this sounds i don’t think one can make a claim that he wouldn’t have jumped even if they didn’t film him.

  • B

    Re No 11:

    Just as a reminder regarding what the “facts of this case” were, start with http://www.queerty.com/dharun-ravi-molly-wei-claim-they-only-saw-tyler-clementi-kissing-nothing-more-20101031/ which points out that Ravi’s and Wei’s lawyer claims they did not transmit any images to third parties and only observed some kissing (due to how the web cam was positioned, presumably).

    The idea that “he complained to the school and they did nothing” is a misleading accusation. Clementi sent a complaint in the evening and committed suicide the next day. There wasn’t time to do anything – assuming a typical administrator, there were probably a couple of hundred emails queued up in front of Clementi’s, and administrators also spend a lot of time in meetings. Before accusing the school of “doing nothing” you need to account for processing delays typical of any institution of that size.

  • ~PR~

    while I respect their point of view, I disagree with the idea of letting them off with a “not so harsh” sentence. what they did was illegal. it resulted in a young man’s death. no one could have known that would be the end result but it was and letting them off easy will only make other perps of the similar vain expect the same treatment. perhaps I am just a bit to cold hearted. I see it as no different than a drunk driver facing harsh penalties for killing a pedestrian. actions have consequences and they need to face theirs to the fullest.

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