Tyler Clementi Center Created for Vulnerable Youth
By Monica Miller, WBGO News
Piscataway. February 4, 2013
The death of an 18-year-old Rutgers student who killed himself after being secretly taped having a sexual encounter with another man sparked a national debate about cyber bullying and acceptance of sexual orientation. Tyler Clementi’s family and the University are now opening a center in his name to keep the conversation going.
The young violinist took his own life by jumping off the George Washington Bridge in 2010. His mother, Jane Clementi, says it’s still hard to visit the Rutgers campus.
“But when I take a different perspective and take a look at the greater, bigger picture, it makes it possible.”
The bigger picture is what the Clementi family is now focused on two and a half years later. Tyler Clementi’s big brother James says a center in his brother’s name will conduct new research and create programs and approaches to address issues like suicide, sexual orientation and bullying.
“It’s bittersweet because I feel like if this could have been in place when Tyler was coming here as a student, it might have made all the difference for him and we might still have him with us.”
The first conference in April will focus on transgender issues.