The parents of Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers student who committed suicide after finding out that his roommate had seen footage of him sexually engaged with another man, have reportedly filed notice to sue Rutgers for failing to implement or enforce policies that they believe would have saved their son. That includes judging how the school handled emails from Clementi complaining about his roommate, Dharun Ravi, and his apparent request for a new roommate.
The notice says, “Rutgers University failed to act, failed to put in place and/or failed to implement, and enforce policies and practices that would have prevented or deterred such acts, and that Rutgers failed to act timely and appropriately." It also lists damages as Clementi's pain and suffering and the parents' loss of companionship, but does not list how much the Clementis are seeking. The family's attorney, Stephen DeFeo, also filed a breach of contract claim saying that the school breached a contract with Clementi by not preventing what happened to him.
However, Rutgers spokesman E.J. Miranda said that the claim was filed under the New Jersey Contractual Liability Act, which is not applicable to them. Rutgers said in a statement, "We at the university share the family's sense of loss of their son, who was a member of our community. We also recognize that a grieving family may question whether someone or some institution could somehow have responsibility for their son's death. While the university understands this reaction, the university is not responsible for Tyler Clementi's suicide."
Dharun Ravi and friend Molly Wei, both of whom allegedly saw the video of "Clementi hugging and kissing another man," have both been charged with multiple counts of invasion of privacy and have dropped out of Rutgers. The state's General Assembly and Senate have also passed the "Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights," which requires colleges to write anti-bullying measures into their codes of conduct.