There are many different kinds of bullying, each with facets that are tangible and intangible. A bully doesn't just have to rough another kid up. Bullying can be verbal, it can involve gestures, written notes, suggestions, and drawings. Technology has brought bullying into a new era because of the immediacy of cyber-bullying: e-mails, text messages, and social networking. What Clementi obviously feared was that a video of his tryst could go viral, and he could not take that ultimate invasion of his privacy. Many others face similar situations and may contemplate the only way out just as Clementi did.
This verdict is a sound one and sends a clear message - bullying cannot and will not be tolerated. School districts have embraced a variety of programs and are educating young people; sadly, Clementi and Ravi did not benefit from this in their education. Hopefully, this will help change perceptions and bring awareness, but the verdict is a powerful statement by the jury and bullies everywhere should realize that their reign of terror will be short lived.
None of this brings back Tyler Clementi, or any person lost to suicide because of bullying, but his legacy should be that he will be remembered by others and his case will spark even more change for the better for young people everywhere. That will be a good thing but achieved at a terrible price.
Photo Credit - NY Daily News