What, You Thought Rutgers Would Say It’s Responsible For Tyler Clementi’s Suicide?

We at the university share the family’s sense of loss of their son, who was a member of our community. We also recognize that a grieving family may question whether someone or some institution could somehow have responsibility for their son’s death. While the university understands this reaction, (Rutgers) is not responsible for Tyler Clementi‘s suicide.

—Rutgers University, responding in a statement to the notice of intent to sue filed by Tyler Clementi’s parents Joseph and Jane

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  • Daez

    I really don’t see the desire some here at this site have to punish the entire student body of Rutgers (who the hell do you think is going to pay for this lawsuit if they lose…the students) just because some dude decided to kill himself rather than come home to his homophobic mommy and daddy. If the parents want to get rich, there are better ways to do it than cashing in on the death of your son.

    There are much better cases for almost every other teen suicide and yet those parents have yet to file law suits.

  • Joe

    How about the parents taking responsibility? Parents of LBGT children should welcome their kids, and make them feel safe and wanted. If children have an early foundation of love and acceptance at home wouldn’t so easily be affected by the perils of society.
    So, all you parents out there…I am talking to you! Its your duty to make your kids feel normal and loved. If you make him or her feel proud of who they are then they will be confident and be able to take on the world.
    The parents in this case are no better than the typical gay bashers on the streets. for it was their obligation to make their son confident. They failed miserably, and now want a paycheck for their lack of parental guidance.

  • malcanoid

    Joe and Daez, what a miserable and dispassionate concept of humanity you seem to have. It’s all about the cash! All the empathy and insight that a flea could want.

  • Daez

    @malcanoid: Sorry, but in this case, it is all about the cash.

    These parents failed miserably. When your child would rather kill themselves by jumping off a bridge than come to you for help because they are gay, you failed miserably.

    Some of the other parents that have children that killed themselves are not nearly as culpable as the parents in question. Some parents just don’t know what to do or say, but most of the other suicides had parents that were fighting the school boards for months before the suicides.

    These people seem to want to get rich quick by cashing in after the fact, and its very likely their kid killed himself because he was afraid of the disrespect and disapproval of his parents.

  • malcanoid

    I stand by my statement at #3.

  • ewe

    @malcanoid: But Rutgers did not have anything to do with invading the privacy of Tyler Clementi. The only comment i have ever heard is that he asked for a dorm change. 24 hours is not enough for someone to get moved unless there was a bloody murder in the room and it was barred from entering with yellow caution tape. If you think it is not for the cash then offer another motive.

  • ewe

    @malcanoid: What does having empathy and insight have to do with a lawsuit against Rutgers?

  • saltydog

    I support the university in this. This is not a public high school failing to protect somebody from bullies, this is a university that the adult student applied to and decided to attend. Different private universities offer different accommodations, political beliefs and social atmospheres. It is tragic that he took his life, but he chose to enroll and continue attending school there. As an adult if you don’t like the college you’re going to you have every right to drop out and go do whatever you like with your life. The suicides of young GLBT people are all tragedies and out society as a whole has failed them, but nothing about this case sounds like the university is to blame. There are severe mental health issues involved in many suicides that no “it gets better” campaign can resolve.

  • Joe

    This is the first time I’ve agreed with Daez on anything. The point is families should make each and every child feel like they are a prince or princess. When they fail to do it, it leaves every child open to feeling worthless. And now this pathetic so called “mother” and “father” want to sue. As if they plan on donating 100 percent to charity.
    They wanted the university to do what they refused to do as parents.

  • malcanoid

    @ewe: The mental state of the parents; everything. They want to hurt someone. They haven’t received a penny yet you all seem to be on top of them as evil money grabbers. Don’t you have courts? Don’t you have verdicts? But I was forgetting. This is in America where avarice has to be the major component of the motivation to do anything. Consider their grief or is that too much to ask?

  • malcanoid

    @Joe: Joe that is utter complete bollocks!

  • Dan

    @malcanoid: It’s not logical to conclude that avarice and greed are motivating factors for why the parents chose to bring forth a lawsuit, in which the sole purpose is to take money from someone else? Their grief has nothing to do with this decision. What would suing Rutgers change? All it’s going to do is hurt the other students’ educations in the long run, which doesn’t seem beneficial to anything but these people’s wallets.

    Instead of trying to lay blame on everything surrounding the incident, these so-called parents should take a look in the mirror and question why their son thought suicide was a better option than coming out to his family! They should be working with LGBT groups and other such organizations to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again!

  • scribe

    I do not blame the parents for this young man’s death. I believe that the school should have done something immediately for this young man. (The roomate should have been removed from the room(within an hour) then kicked out of school (over time)) I don’t know whether the school should be sued or not, but believe that the kids who did this to Tyler should be. Truth is we don’t know how these parents would have reacted to learning that that Tyler was gay. I’m sure they rather a live gay son over a dead one any day. Maybe they would have came around, maybe they would have embraced him at first, the only thing any of us know is that they didn’t get a chance, so stop judging them.

  • scribe

    We don’t know what the parent’s goals are. Maybe they want to force the school for protection for future gay students. Maybe they want the money to open a grant in their child’s name. Sometimes a law suit is just to get people to the table and find some common ground. Maybe they just feel powerless and want to make the school listen to them.

  • malcanoid

    @Dan: I would appreciate it, Dan, if you would re-read my comments and the other comments in this thread with a little more care. I apologise if my sarcasm has masked my intent.

    Comment 1 by Daez states “If the parents want to get rich, there are better ways to do it than cashing in on the death of your son…….There are much better cases for almost every other teen suicide and yet those parents have yet to file law suits”.

    In my view, this comment is callous and an attempt to pillory the parents, unreasonably. Incidentally, I am sure Rutgers is well able to defend itself and may well benefit from reviewing the duty of care to its students in the light of these circumstances.

    I also find Joe’s comment (#2) unreasonable, based as it is on an oversimplistic view of what parenthood is about and what it is like. Again, this is another unwarranted attack on the parents.

    Tyler’s parents will be asking themselves every day, probably for the rest of their lives, what they might, could, should have done differently but no matter how much they question themselves they have the torture of knowing that they cannot bring their son back to life. They deserve some respect and compassion at this time; not the ill-founded malicious gossip about their qualities in the difficult task of parenthood that appears in the initial comments of this thread.

    Read more:

  • B

    No. 13 · scribe wrote, “I do not blame the parents for this young man’s death. I believe that the school should have done something immediately for this young man. (The roomate should have been removed from the room(within an hour) then kicked out of school (over time))”

    The parents aside (nobody knows one way or the other so it is bad form to comment about them beyond expressing sympathy), suppose that while you were in college, you had a roommate who complained that you had set up a web cam to spy on him when you hadn’t. Would you want to be kicked out of the room “within an hour” especially if you had an exam the next day that you were studying for?

    Sometimes people make bogus charges and a university has to allow for that possibility and see if a complaint is justified before doing something like what you suggested.

Comments are closed.