THE NEW YORKER covers in detail the suicide of Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi and the ongoing legal problems of Dharum Ravi, who allegedly bullied him. Where the dots can't be connected is when it comes to the issue of what caused Clementi to jump off the George Washington Bridge that day.
But, those of us who dare return to the emotional fragility of being 18 and a freshman in college get it. When we were 18, we simply weren't able "to take it." Research now shows that human beings don't fully mature in brain matter until we are about 25. Until then, we should be, well, a fully protected group. Emotional "crimes" against us should be reportable, investigated, and dealt with.
At age 18, I arrived a mess from Jersey City, New Jersey to Seton Hill College, now a university, in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. I became more of mess. That's sad because I might have gotten a handle on life, at least my own, during those 4 years in the woods so far from my nutty family and the mean streets of Jersey City.
No, my fellow students were wonderful. As I saw it, it was the Sisters of (non) Charity who were the bullies. They seemed to create a fresh mission for themselves to torment me about my working class accent, bohemian dress, and fat. What I wonder is why am I alive and others like Clementi aren't. I couldn't take it, either.
Bullying in all its combinations and permutations should be made a felony. If it can be proved, then it should carry a mandatory prison sentence.