Everyone has heard the news. Tyler Clementi, a Freshman at Rutgers University, committed suicide after his roommate secretly “live streamed” video of him having sexual relations with his male partner. Such a horrible and tragic story. One that should have never come to pass. There is a bigger picture that we as humans need to look at here. Bullying, Cyber Bullying, is horrifying, and you just never know when a person has reached their limit of it. There used to be a time, back when this writer was young, that the bullying took place at school. That when I came home from a hard teenage day at school, I was safe. Safely tucked away from all the drama, safe in my parents arms if needed, safe from outside insults, bullying… drama. That day is long gone.
I remember when my son was entering 7th/8th Grade, and seeing this first hand. Now, I watch my daughter with a careful eye as well. The insults, the pictures, the put-downs; all on the world wide bathroom wall. No longer is it constrained to the school yard, it’s there for all to see. Have a bad day? Do something embarrassing? You can bet someone had a phone and recorded it. Make someone angry? Get in a fight with a friend? You can bet you will read all about it, including every secret you ever told them, online. Everything is public, and especially when you are a teenager, when life is hard enough just coming into yourself, no matter the gender, color or sexual orientation, it can be debilitating. Does the bully care if he pushes someone too far? Do the parents care that they are doing this? Something needs to be done. Someone needs to care in place of those that don’t. Enough is enough.
Ellen made a very important statement today about it, and I think it is very important and should be heard around the world: