BY NOREEN FAGAN – It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when the possibility of someone's going to prison makes me smile. But it happened on Wednesday after a grand jury in New Jersey indicted Dharun Ravi, 19, with 15 charges including invasion of privacy, witness tampering and bias intimidation.
Ravi was the roommate of Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers freshman who committed suicide in September 2010. Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after Ravi secretly filmed him making out with another male, then broadcast it online.
The indictment against Ravi includes four bias intimidation charges, two of them second-degree charges that can bring up to 10 years in prison each.
Clementi’s death was one of five high-profile suicides by gay teenagers in the short span of three weeks. The deaths provoked widespread introspection about bullying and how gay teens are treated. They highlighted the need for more schools to introduce anti-bullying programs and to create safe spaces for gay teens.
The suicides were also the catalyst that inspired Dan Savage to launch the It Gets Better Campaign. In the first video, Savage and his partner talk about their stories. Within two months of its launch, 10,000 stories were uploaded to the It Gets Better YouTube channel.
Xtra has been reporting on the Ontario Catholic school boards' ban on GSAs. Reporter Andrea Houston recently attended a forum where teenagers spoke about the fight to establish a safe space in their school.