FAMILY MATTERS

Tyler Clementi’s Parents Speak To Media, Launch Suicide-Prevention Foundation

Even as accused harasser Dahrun Ravi faces a likely court date, the parents of Tyler Clementi are breaking their silence to discuss his death and the creation of a foundation in his name.

“It just seems the time has come to address this problem,” Joseph Clementi told ABC News. “We want to help people. We love Tyler very much and we want to help as many people as possible. We were devastated by the loss of our son, and we still are.”

Tyler’s mother, Jane, added, “Something good has to come out from such a terrible tragedy.”

The Tyler Clementi Foundation, a newly announced not-for-profit group, will promote anti-bullying initiatives and raise awareness and intervention for young people at risk for suicide, especially in the LGBT community. “The nationwide outpouring of compassion following Tyler’s death has been truly humbling and comforting for our family” said Joseph, who is president of the Foundation. “During that time we have become increasingly aware of the difficulties young people face due to their sexual orientation, especially in this digital age. Part of our mission is to raise awareness of cyber-bullying by promoting responsibility in our children’s personal lives and on-line presence. We want them to understand the importance of their words and actions.”

In a press release, Clementi also explained that the Foundation will support research into the cause and prevention of teenage suicide. “Our family was devastated by Tyler’s death and we know that thousands of other families have experienced similar situations,” he said. “We want to do our part to help save lives and reduce the anguish of those who are tormented because of the way they look, their sexual orientation, or just for being different.”