Lifestyle & Belief

Tyler Clementi suicide: Parents start foundation


A memorial to Tyler Clementi at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., on Oct. 1, 2010.



The parents of a Rutgers University freshman who committed suicide after his roommate allegedly streamed webcam footage of him kissing another man have created an anti-cyberbullying foundation in his memory.

The Tyler Clementi Foundation will promote the acceptance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) teens, work to reduce suicide among young people and discourage cyberbullying, Joe and Jane Clementi told NBC News and other media outlets in their first interviews since their son’s death 15 months ago.

"One statistic I just can't get my ahead around is that LGBT Teens are seven times more likely" to have thoughts about suicide than heterosexual teens, Joe Clementi told ABC News. "That's just a staggering statistic."

Tyler Clementi, 18, who’d recently told his parents that he was gay, killed himself on Sept. 22, 2010, by jumping off New York City’s George Washington Bridge, NBC reported. He reportedly was upset to learn that his roommate, Dahrun Ravi, had secretly filmed him in their room and shared the video over the Internet.

According to USA Today:

Ravi, who is charged with invasion of privacy, witness-tampering, bias intimidation and other charges related to Clementi's death, on Friday rejected a plea deal that would have kept him out of prison. If found guilty, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

The Clementis told ABC News that establishing a foundation is their attempt to turn their son’s death into something positive. "Something good has to come out from such a terrible tragedy," Jane Clementi said.

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