Remembering Tyler Clementi on the anniversary of his deathOnline Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Friday, September 22nd, 2017
Tyler Clementi was an LGBTQ freshman at Rutgers University. After being harassed for his sexuality, Clementi tragically ended his life Sept. 22, 2010. After his death, Clementi’s parents founded the Tyler Clementi Foundation to combat bullying and harassment and promote safe and inclusive environments for LGBTQ youth.
In April, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) and Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) reintroduced the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would require colleges and universities to have comprehensive anti-harassment policies that include LGBTQ young people.
Specifically, the legislation would require policies that prohibit harassment of enrolled students by other students, faculty, and staff based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion and would require colleges to distribute their anti-harassment policy to all students and employees, including prospective students and employees upon request. It would also explicitly prohibit behavior often referred to as cyberbullying.
“I believe this bill will allow institutions of higher education to take a fresh look and reexamine their policies and procedures that are and are not in place,” Jane Clementi, Tyler’s mom, shared in her written testimony to the committee. “In addition this legislation is your opportunity to not only keep our own young adults safe but to also have a global influence. Book knowledge is important but the wisdom of empathy and compassion is priceless. Bullying does not magically disappear when someone turns 18. We must continue to provide safe and supportive learning environments for all students in all learning environments including higher education.”
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