College students aren’t immune, it seems:
A Rutgers University freshman posted a goodbye message on his Facebook page before jumping to his death after his roommate secretly filmed him during a “sexual encounter” in his dorm room and posted it live on the Internet.
All of us at Garden State Equality are in a state of shock over one of the most unconscionable, hate-related deaths of a student in the history of the State of New Jersey. Today we learned that a Rutgers freshman committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and other students apparently broadcast the freshman – without his knowledge – making out with another man. According to reports, the other students disseminated the video widely by Twitter. The freshman was seemingly so distraught, he leapt to his death.
There are no words sufficient to express our range of feelings today. We are outraged at the perpetrators. We are heartbroken over the tragic loss of a young man who, by all accounts, was brilliant, talented and kind. And we are sickened that anyone in our society, such as the students allegedly responsible for making the surreptitious video, might consider destroying others’ lives as a sport. As this case makes its way through the legal system, we can only hope the alleged perpetrators receive the maximum possible sentence.
That the victim’s roommate was also a freshman, just months out of high school, demonstrates once again that our high schools are not doing enough to educate their students that harassment, intimidation and bullying of other students is unacceptable in every instance. It is grotesque to think that people such as these alleged perpetrators went onto college without, apparently, ever having been taught basic life lessons of decency – and that they made their way through the educational system before allegedly committing this unconscionable act.
Garden State Equality is currently working on a new anti-school bullying bill that if enacted, would be the nation’s strongest such law. It would follow the three anti-bullying laws the state has enacted since 2002, all of which include bullying based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
We have also reached out to the Rutgers University administration and LGBT campus groups. We will keep you apprised of developments.
We are sickened.
So are we. NorthJersey.com has more background on Tyler, who was, of course, described as well-loved by all, musically gifted, shy and kind. Sounds like me at that age.
Jesus. How many more?