Ellen's Emotional Plea: Stop Teenage Bullying (VIDEO)
Ellen DeGeneres said she is "devastated" over the death of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, who killed himself after he was outed as gay over the internet.
DeGeneres made an emotional plea Thursday to stop teenage bullying following a series of teens committing suicide after having been teased or bullied:
"Something must be done," she said. "This needs to be a wake-up call to everyone: teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country, and the death rate is climbing. One life lost in this senseless way is tragic. Four lives lost is a crisis. And these are just the stories we hear about. How many other teens have we lost? How many others are suffering in silence? Being a teenager and figuring out who you are is hard enough without someone attacking you."
Ellen said that her "heart is breaking for their families, their friends and for a society that continues to let this happen."
She added, "These kids needed us. We have an obligation to change this. 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."
And she had a special message for gay teens:
"I want anyone out there who feels different and alone to know that I know how you feel. There is help out there. You can find support in your community," she said, and listed several organizations on her website.
"Things will get easier, people's minds will change, and you should be alive to see it," she concluded.