A college student at Rutgers University jumped to his death in what is yet another suicide that can be linked to bullying. Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old student at the university in New Brunswick, New Jersey, jumped from the George Washington Bridge on Sept. 22, 2010. In a report from CBS , a secret sex video depicting him having a sexual encounter with a man was broadcast online in the days just preceding his death. Two fellow Rutgers University students, Dhraun Ravi and Molly Wei, have been charged with the invasion of privacy and illegal taping.
Unfortunately, bullying in the real and “cyber” sense is becoming a growing problem, with the news frequently reporting more suicides. Just days after the suicide of Tyler Clementi, a Johnson & Wales student, Raymond Chase, hung himself in his dorm room, according to the Edge Boston. Chase was an openly gay student, and it is being speculated that bullying and harassment are to be blamed for his death.
Alexis Pilkington was a popular 17-year-old student who had recently been awarded a college soccer scholarship to college. She was at the start of a promising future and, sadly, she took her life on March 21, 2010. The Huffington Post states that the Suffolk County Police are now investigating messages that were sent to her online in the months before and after her suicide. She had been receiving negative and mean-spirited comments which may or may not have been directly tied into her decision to take her own life. As if the tragedy of her death was not enough, these insensitive comments and images continued in the months after.
Phoebe Price, a beautiful 15-year-old girl also chose to end her life after being the victim of relentless bullying . After a day of non-step taunting and threats, she hung herself on Jan. 14, 2010. The New York Times reports that six teenagers have had charges brought against them. Two boys and four girls, ranging in age from 16 to 18, have been charged with a variety of felony charges ranging from statutory rape, stalking, violation of civil rights, taunting and physical threats.
These are only a few of the suicides that have had a direct link to bullying. This is quickly becoming a crisis and the victims are getting younger and younger. Many states have started implementing laws to protect victims of bullying and punish those responsible. But much more needs to be done to protect our youth. We need to educate our children to the dangers of being bullied, as well as the consequences of being a bully.
Guardian.co.uk, Tyler Clementi
CBS, Tyler Clementi
Huffington Post, Alexis Pilkington
NY Times, Phoebe Price
EdgeBoston, Raymond Chase
Gather – Raymond Chase
Times Daily, Bullying Laws Take Effect