Verdict in Rutgers case

A New Brunswick, N.J., jury today found former Rutgers University student Dharun Ravi guilty of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation, among other charges, against roommate Tyler Clementi in the widely watched case. Read more details here and here.

Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, said, in part:

College and university professionals have an obligation to recognize the crucial role and responsibility they have in creating safer environments for LGBT students. Tragedies can be averted and lives can be saved when students feel safe and accepted and when universities are proactive in their approach to campus climate and the academic success of all students.

Steven Goldstein, executive director of Garden State Equality, said:

[We] must continue our focus on building a better world, one free of bullying of every student, so that a tragedy like this never happens again. That’s what New Jersey’s new Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights, the country’s strongest anti-bullying law, is ultimately about.

On Capitol Hill, the Task Force and others are advocating for the passage of legislation to combat anti-LGBT bullying. These bills include the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey said of the bullying problem:

The epidemic of bullying in our nation’s educational institutions is a tragedy and an outrage. No student should fear getting beaten up, harassed and tormented while simply trying to get an education. We have a responsibility to ensure all young people are protected from this pervasive bullying, discrimination and abuse. The effects from bullying can be profoundly damaging. Parents, educators, policymakers — all of us — need to stand against this unacceptable behavior.