Thursday, September 30, 2010

Teaching Your Kid Right From Wrong


I'm late posting this morning because I spent the morning finishing up my latest manuscript. The actual writing part of my job IS rather important, after all. LOL


However, when I finally surfaced it was to see an article about a boy who had committed suicide. Tyler was an 18 year old Rutgers student with a very bright future. A violinist who "blew the audience away" with the solo he played in a concert last year. So, why would a kid with so much to offer suddenly decide to jump off the George Washington Bridge? We have his roomate, Dharun Ravi, to thank for that. It seems Ravi thought it'd be fun to secretly videotape Tyler while he had an intimate encounter with another man. Worse, Ravi posted the video on the internet, then invited others to come and watch. You can read the full, tragic story here


If you read the article then you're probably as horrified as I am. What person in their right mind does something like that? To get joy out of causing someone else pain is simply beyond my understanding. I have to ask, what sort of values was Ravi raised with? As a parent I've tried hard to raise my kids to know the difference between right and wrong. To treat others with kindness and respect, regardless of their differences. I've raised them to think for themselves. And to know that if you do something wrong, you WILL be punished. Period.


What troubles me is that I wonder if Ravi, and the girl who seems to have been in on this cruel prank with him, will really be punished? Are they even aware that what they did was totally screwed up? Are they sorry that Tyler killed himself or are they just sorry they're in trouble? My guess is the latter.


It bothers me more than I can say to think that there are kids out there who are perfectly willing to fuck up someone else's life, just to get a laugh. It bothers me to think that they won't be punished beyond a slap on the wrist. An entire family is destroyed now! I'm curious how Ravi and Molly feel, knowing they pushed a decent, hard working kid to kill himself? Personally, I think there should be a stiff punishment for this crime. I think if there isn't, then we WILL see more of it.


What do you think? Should Ravi and Molly be punished?

22 comments:

Regina Carlysle said...

They should definitely be punished. I also believe this is more of an 'invasion of privacy' issue. This is cyber bullying and I believe this is a hate crime. I understand that law enforcement is looking into federal and/or state charges too. There are hate crime laws to deal with this shit and the video went across state lines. Their behavior was reprehensible and honest to GOD...you only have to look at the news to see the level of hate out there. Racial prejudice, gay bashing...the list goes on and on.

I wonder what we can do? I started at HOME by teaching my kids about judging others, about kindness, empathy and standing up for those who are bullied. This sad sad story just emphasizes that maybe we aren't doing enough. Maybe just teaching our children isn't enough.

Regina Carlysle said...

Sorry, have a typo. I meant to say This is MORE than an invasion of privacy.

Anne Rainey said...

Regardless of everything else in my life I know that if I fuck up raising my kids then nothing good I ever did means a damn thing. Being a parent is the single most important job anyone can have. Doing it right requires blood, sweat and tears. But seeing them grow into teenagers that I can be proud of makes it all worthwhile.

Regina, I know that your kids make you every bit as proud. I just wish there were parents like you. Maybe this shit wouldn't happen.

Anne Rainey said...

That should be MORE parents like you. What's with the word 'more' today? LOL

Anyway, thanks for telling me that about the federal charges. I hope they stick to their guns and throw the book at them! I would hate to see this get reduced to a lesser charge several months down the road--after the public has forgotten about it. That does tend to happen and it's infuriating!

Madison Scott said...

Okay, Reg and Anne are cracking me up by both of them missing the MORE in their comments.

Onto the serious issue here. They BETTER be punished. This is just wrong and disgusting. I can't imagine every doing something like that. They did it to hurt this kid. They knew that is what would happen but it went further and now the poor boy with a bright future is dead. I don't understand why someone would want to do this. To try it a second time. HOw someone could think its funny.

This is all just so sad.

Madison Scott said...

That should be imagine EVER doing. Not every. I swear I did not typo on purpose. LOL

Maria said...

They definitely need to be punished. It seems like every day there are more and more hate type crimes being committed on the web than ever before because law enforcement has a somewhat limited reach thanks to our goverments lack of taking the internet seriously until lately. Since I live within 30 min of the place where the girl committed suicide due to what was done to her on facebook I'm well aware of these "cyber bullies" and the damage that they do. Something seriously needs to be done.

Anne Rainey said...

Madison--Wasn't it bad enough that he taped the kid? He just had to go and put on the net! That to me says that he WANTED everyone to see Tyler, to make fun of him. What a jerk.

Anne Rainey said...

Maria--I honestly worry that law enforecment will NEVER see internet crimes in the same light as a crime done on the street.

And the cyber bullying. It has to stop, but it won't until they start handing down some seriously harsh prison sentences.

Anonymous said...

I believe they should definitely be punished. They have, even if unwittingly, taken a life.

This is very das, but unfortunately young people think it is fun to have their fun at the expense of others.

Valerie
in Germany

Amber Skyze said...

I saw this on the news this morning. Such a horrible thing for Tyler and his family. His roommate and the girl should be punished. I believe, like Regina said, this can be considered cyber bullying and a hate crime.

Anne Rainey said...

Valerie--Bullies have been around since the beginning of time, huh? Unfortunately having access to the internet, and thus a huge captive audience, has turned some teens into rabid dogs. They NEED people to see how 'cool' they are. It makes me sick.

First thing I did when my teenage daughters got home from school a bit ago was show them that article. They were sad for that poor kid.

Anne Rainey said...

Amber--My heart broke for his parents. How horrible for them.

Sherry said...

I think that they should be punished and that it's a shame that the most they could get out of it us 5 years. I personally think they should get a lot more out of it. They still probably don't think what they did was wrong and never will.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Connie Northrop said...

My gay nephew has lived with my son and me for the last 6 years (since his 18th B-day). I have worked really hard to prepare my kid for the day when one of his schoolmates says something hateful about the cousin he loves. I hope he doesn't blow up on them and get in trouble. He was telling me today that one of the kids in his class was making racist comments and he was mad. It seems I've taught him hate is bad and I'm really proud.

I can't imagine being the parent of one of those college kids. I would be horrified! I think I would be pushing for them to have to face charges for what they did.

There have been at least 4 teen suicides in recent weeks due to bullying. It has to stop!

Anonymous said...

I think they should be punished for invasion of privacy, however, I don't think that it was a hate crime. Sounds more like a college prank. You can't tell me that the ones responsible knew the boy would take his life (which is very selfish), apparently he wasn't proud to be gay/bi-sexual and I'm sure there were other factors into his decision to end his life. To blame the 2 who taped then "aired" his private relations is like blaming the gun companies for all the shootings (accidental or not) or the tobacco companies for all the smokers getting cancer ... that's not the way it works. The young man took his own life, which is tragic but, my thought anyway...it's college! How many embarrassing things have we all done during college?! Some caught on tape and others not. I know I didn't trust anyone that much during my few years! If he was that ashamed of his sexual orientation he should've gone to a motel/hotel room instead.

Natalie Dae said...

Oh no. That is so bloody sad. :o(

Anne Rainey said...

Sherry--I 100% agree with you! I don't for a second believe they feel guilty.

Anne Rainey said...

Connie--You are a terrific mother! I wish there were more like you. :)

Anne Rainey said...

Anon--We'll have to agree to disagree because I don't for one second believe Ravi would've bothered taping Tyler if he'd been have sex with a girl. It wouldn't even have been a big deal. Ravi taped it because the kid was gay. He wanted to cause him pain. To humiliate him. Why else would he post it all over the internet? It wasn't just a prink. TPing a house is a prank. Painting the word dumbass on your drunk friend's face is a prank. This little stunt was downright cruel.

And whether he was proud of being gay or not, is his PRIVATE business. That's part of what makes me so angry. Tyler did not deserve to have his private business posted on Twitter for ALL to see.

And I understand that to some suicide might seem selfish, but when you're in that situation, you're entire world is crumbling, and you've just been publicly humiliated, you might feel a bit differently. I dare not walk in Tyler's shoes.

In the end, all I can do is pray for Tyler's family and pray for tolerance.

Thanks for your comment! :)

Madison Scott said...

That's what makes it a hate crime, IMO too, Anne. I totally agree. If he had been straight, they guy never would have recorded him and posted it online. He would have high-fived him and that would have been the end of it.

Also, I don't really think it has anything to do with being proud of your sexuality. The fact is, it was his private business. NO ONE's sexual encounters should be secretly recorded and posted like that.

What are the laws about men who have been caught recording women? Planting hidden cameras and such? Is it only invasion of privacy (honest questions. I'm not sure)?

Tess MacKall said...

Yes, they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. This may end up being only a case of invading someone's privacy. But I guess now everyone can see just how important that law really can be.

I honestly see this as a hate crime. Will the authorities be able to make that stick? Maybe. And I hope they do.