Colleges should adopt a code of conduct that prohibits bullying and harassment in the wake of the suicide of a Rutgers University student whose gay sexual encounter in his dorm room was streamed online, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg said at a town meeting on campus.
Lautenberg, D-N.J., told the crowd gathered Wednesday night in memory of 18-year-old freshman Tyler Clementi that he would introduce such legislation. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River on Sept. 22 after the intimate images of him with another man were broadcast. His body was identified days later.
Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, and another Rutgers freshman, Molly Wei, both 18, have been charged with invasion of privacy, and authorities are weighing whether bias crime charges should be added.
The death of Clementi, a promising violinist, has prompted a national discussion on the plight of young gay people and bullying, along with technology's role in it. Clementi typed his intention on the Internet, leaving a note on his Facebook page reading, "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry."
A new survey has found that while technology has become so entwined with college students' often frantic lives, being perpetually connected comes at a cost.
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Comment: As sad as this story is, and those like it, bullying is an unfortunate fact of life, but in the end laws such as the one Lautenburg is pushing will be used by the government to further control our all of our lives.