Parents Of Tyler Clementi Return To Rutgers [AUDIO]
For the first time since their son tragically committed suicide a year ago, the parents of Tyler Clementi were back on campus at Rutgers University to attend a symposium on the use and misuse of social networks.
18 year-old Tyler Clementi ended his life just three weeks after enrolling at the state university in September 2010, after his roommate allegedly used a webcam to spy on his intimate encounter with a man.
Fast forward a year later. Joseph and Jane Clementi, standing side by side, holding hands gave the opening remarks to about 250 researchers, scholars and students at the seminar, which had a focus on cyber-bullying.
"The nationwide outpouring of compassion from a wide range of people and organizations has been truly humbling and comforting," Joseph Clementi said.
He said The Tyler Clementi Foundation, a co-sponsor of the symposium along with Rutgers, would do more work to research and try to prevent cyberbullying and victimization
"A non-profit organization designed to empower those who are tormented because of the way they look, their sexual orientation, or for just being different."
Clementi said he and his wife did not come to Rutgers to speak, but rather to listen and learn.
"We think that events like this are an excellent first step in helping everyone to understand the importance of their words and actions."
As he ended his two minute prepared statement, Clementi had a simple message for the 250 attendees.
"The change you want to see in the world and in your school, begins with you."
Tyler Clementi's roommate, 19-year-old Dharun Ravi, is charged with 15 criminal counts, including invasion of privacy and the hate crime invasion of privacy. He could face 10 years in prison. A trial is scheduled for February.