Friday 19 November 2010

Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill

(CNN) -- The family of a Rutgers University student who committed suicide after a sexual encounter was broadcast online has consented to the use of his name on a piece of anti-harassment legislation.
The family of Tyler Clementi will allow Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, to use his name in the proposed federal legislation, to be known as the "Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act," an attorney for the family said.
Clementi's body was recovered from the Hudson River in September, more than a week after he jumped from the George Washington Bridge.
The bridge spans the river between New York and New Jersey, which is home to Rutgers. Clementi jumped from the bridge after two other Rutgers students allegedly videotaped a sexual encounter between him and another man and streamed it online.
The proposed law would require schools that receive federal student aid "to create policies prohibiting the harassment of any student," Lautenberg said last month.
The legislation also classifies cyber-bullying as a form of harassment.
Lautenberg said that federal funding would be provided to colleges and universities to deal with harassment and bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.
"The family appreciates the courtesy extended to them during the drafting of the bill, and hopes that the legislation, if enacted, will improve the well-being and safety of America's college students," the family's statement said. "The Clementi family is humbled and gratified that the loss of their son, however painful for them, has inspired nationwide discussion and awareness of the need for a renewal of values of respect for human dignity and personal privacy, particularly for young people in this time of rapidly evolving technology."
Dharun Ravi, 18, who was Clementi's roommate, and Molly Wei, 18, have been charged with invasion of privacy. Their lawyers have asserted their innocence.

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