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Ellen DeGeneres "Devastated" by Rutgers Student's Suicide
Ellen DeGeneres is speaking out about the suicide death of a Rutgers University student who took his own life after a roommate allegedly streamed footage of him having sex with another male student online. "I am devastated over the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi," the gay talk show host says in a video commentary. "He was outed as being gay on the Internet and he killed himself. One life lost in this senseless way is tragic. This needs to be a wake-up call to everyone that teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country and the death rate is climbing. We have an obligation to stop this."
Clementi lept to his death from the George Washington Bridge on September 22nd. Prosecutors in the case have charged Clementi's roommate Dharun Ravi and classmate Molly Wei with several crimes, including violating New Jersey's privacy laws. They could face hate crime charges if their actions are found to have been substantially based on Clementi's sexuality.
In the wake of a number of bullying-related suicides, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation has developed Welcoming Schools as a way to help elementary school teachers, parents and students around the nation stop name-calling, bullying and gender stereotyping. Find out more by going to HRC.org.
Watch Ellen take on the tragic story below:
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