It's no wonder parents are worried, when national studies have found that an astonishing fifty percent of all students have either been victims of bullying or cyberbullying or were the bullies themselves.
The tragic story of Tyler Clementi has crystallized for many the complex harshness of peer mistreatment, the failure of education institutions to address the problem, and the brutal despair that too often results.
The Christian community must reach out more compassionately to gay and lesbian youths. Here is a prayer I composed for all who feel excluded, rejected, marginalized, shamed or made fun of, in any way or place, religious or otherwise.
Tyler Clementi isn't dead because he was gay. Yes, he had his personal life splashed all over the internet because was gay. But this doesn't explain why his tormentors felt no compunction about violating his privacy in such an egregious and cruel manner.
Hostile school climates are fed most often on Sunday mornings in local pulpits where fundamentalists serve parishioners a steady diet of homophobia and bigotry that is sanctioned by the some of the largest churches in the world.