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Ellen DeGeneres 'devastated' by death of Rutgers student

6a00d8341c630a53ef01310fb7c1ff970c-pi[1] Ellen DeGeneres spoke out against teen bullying Thursday in the wake of the Sept. 22 death of a Rutgers student.

"I am devastated by the death of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi," she wrote on her show's website. "If you don't know, Tyler was a bright student at Rutgers University whose life was senselessly cut short. He was outed as being gay on the internet and he killed himself."

DeGeneres noted that it was September's fourth story about suicide by teens "who have been teased and bullied."

The freshman's death -- his last Facebook post read "jumping off the gw bridge sorry," and the family's attorney confirmed it was a suicide --  came after his roommate, Dharun Ravi, with Ravi's friend, Molly Wei, allegedly used a webcam in their dorm room to record a Sept. 19 sexual encounter between Clementi and another guy, then broadcast it online. Another webcam attempt is alleged to have happened Sept. 21, and Ravi posted on Twitter in August that he'd learned his roommate was gay.

Ravi and Wei, both 18, have been charged with invasion of privacy, and according to ABC News prosecutors are considering filing bias-crime charges as well, if Clementi's sexual orientation emerges as a motive.

DeGeneres linked to a number of support organizations, among them thetrevorproject.org and matthewsplace.com, which support gay and questioning teens; and anti-bullying groups AngelsandDoves.com, Pacer.org/bullying, glsen.org and stompoutbullying.com.

"We have an obligation to change this," DeGeneres said. "There are messages everywhere that validate this kind of bullying and taunting and we have to make it stop. We can't let intolerance and ignorance take another kid's life."

Demi Lovato is another celeb who is working against teen bullying. Blogger Perez Hilton has rallied the likes of Ciara, Lala Vazquez and Jay Manuel of "America's Next Top Model" to make videos to support kids who might be getting bullied over their sexuality, CNN reports. Hilton said the cast of "Glee" will do a video as well.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Portia De Rossi (now Portia DeGeneres), left, and Ellen DeGeneres. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times



Comments () | Archives (29)

Bullying is rampant for many people. It is happening everywhere. A happy normal person can soon be demeaned to a point of suicide. I want someone to come up with the idea of a grade in school on social graces. This would be an evaluation coming from teachers and students alike. We have art, gym, all types of grades. I know if children and kids knew that they are being judged by everyone everyday they would think twice before they name-called or tried to hurt another student. Most teachers have no idea who the mean kids in the class really are. If each one of the students had a chance to anonymously tell on the tormentors and mean ones, this could make a big difference. Please think about this and come up with a way to make people accountable when they try to hurt and ruin others lives.

YoNoBullyBro....How do we get President Obama,Secretary Of Defense Hillary Clinton on an American School Bus with Whitney Houston singing on top of the bus..."Step By Step..?" Visualize and imagine but realize ! The student counselor ratio national average is 460 to 1. So what can we do to support our American School Counselor Association ? Wildcatting for solutions ! Get on the bus !

We need to kick it in and step up for awareness on this bully business and it's serious.Is this for real ? Fewer than 20% of the nation's 100,000 elementary and secondary schools have heeded to the call to implement prevention programs ? Experts can recommend change but only the courts and legislature can require it.Obama has Kevin Jennings on this issue in DC and call your senators and ask about HR 2262 or the Safe Schools Improvement Act.Please !
Shawnee Mission School District in Kansas stand trail for alleged staff negligence in connection with the deaths...and these cases are all over the place and CNN with Anderson Cooper just highlighted a few. Blew my mind that one of the mom's CNN Anderson Cooper interviewed said she was not contacted the last intervention the school had with her daughter. Her child signed a no harm contract and was given a 1-800 sucide hotline card of which the mom says she finds in her child's trash can after finding her passed away and the child killed herself.Another case,Wyke v Polk County 1977? Ask your Senator how our Rehabilitation Act is working from 1973 ? The legal aspects of all this ? "Intervening force doctrine"?? Unforseeable event for which no one but the deceased is responsible ? What does the American Association Suicidologists have to say ? Can Public Education get them on a bus that makes weekly calls to the school buildings to support programs and help with individualized attention with students ? Do our Public School buildings, we as Americans pay for have enough counselors ? No and budget cuts hit hard ! Education,early detection and early treatment. How do we raise awareness ? With "Mony ,Mony" ! I'm for get President Obama,Secretary State Hillary Clinton,VP Joe Biden and all the Senators on an American School bus with Whitney Houston on top of the bus singing ,"Step By Step." Next the cameras flash to Springsteen on top of a Public Library and he's singing,"Wooly Bully." Ellen is dancing somewhere in all this. Crystal B. from American Idol sings what ever she wants to but how about John Lennon.. "Imagine".Support National No Bully Month and your American School Counselors Association. World Peace to ya ! YoNoBullyBro...wildcatting and this is a tragedy we all need to step up and speak out on.If they come up with a law that Public Education implements, please tell them to send the funding to support it. We can't handle another PL 107-110 NCLB and they didn't fund that law.Not waiting for Superman to fly in on this no bully business but can't wait to see the movie.State and Federal levels in education really need to get it together and Public Education is not the blame all or are the Republicans.That goes for the democrats to. Cut the blame and let's find the solutions ! Pick on anybody in this class and the whole class will be to the rescue. No Bully business allowed.Thanks !

Not only are teens getting picked on so are k-8th. my 8 year old come to me and told me that some high school boys were picking on her and her two little friends on the bus after school. they were throwing little pieces of gum in there hair. That is not the first time I had to deal with a high school kid picking on my kids My oldest daughter was also pick on when she was in kindergarten.My oldest still gets picked on at school she does not have really any friends at all that want to hang out with her at school or even outside of school. She does not like going to school because they are mean to her or just ignore or just act like she is not there.

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