Thursday, December 14

Tyler Clementi's Family is Suing Rutgers University: Are They Right To Do So?

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Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers student, took his own life after being videotaped in a compromising situation.

Word has it that the parents of Tyler Clementi, the student who tragically took his own life after being videotaped in a private situation, are planning to sue Rutgers University.

While it was awful that Tyler took his own life, especially due to being bullied for his homosexuality, I do not believe Rutgers is at fault for Tyler’s death.

The Clementi family had to file their suit now or miss their chance, so I understand why they did it. And, not to take credit away where it may be due, I think they did it for a noble cause – to show universities, and individuals, the negative impacts of bullying, homophobia and invasion of privacy.

I really do not think that Tyler’s parents aim to make a profit in exchange for the loss of their son. I am also not convinced that they truly believe that Rutgers University is at fault. However, doing this may help to steer colleges towards the direction of having comprehensive student help and bullying prevention programs.

Was there anything Rutgers, as a university, could have done in this situation? Aside from micro-managing every moment of each student’s day (which is far from an appropriate solution), I would say no. It would have been up to Tyler or his fellow students to report the grotesque behaviors of Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei. The administration of Rutgers had no way to know that this unfortunate act would occur when it did, and that Tyler would react in such an unfortunate manner.

My heart goes out to Tyler Clementi’s family, and I believe that this experience will help to ensure that proper help and discipline is put in place to help victims of bullying. I think that is their goal with presenting the threat to sue Rutgers. After all, the family knows that money will not bring back their son. However, their threat to sue can help future students who find themselves in similar, unfortunate circumstances.


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