The family of the Rutgers University student who committed suicide in 2010 after his roommate allegedly captured him on a webcam having a tryst with a man announced Wednesday the launch of a foundation to discourage bullying and promote acceptance of gay teens.
The parents of Tyler Clementi said they have formed the Tyler Clementi Foundation "to promote civility and responsibility in the digital world" and to support research into the cause and prevention of teenage suicide.
"The nationwide outpouring of compassion following Tyler's death has been truly humbling and comforting for our family," Tyler's father, Joseph Clementi, said in a statement. "During that time we have become increasingly aware of the difficulties young people face due to their sexual orientation, especially in this digital age. Part of our mission is to raise awareness of cyber-bullying by promoting responsibility in our children's personal lives and online presence."
Clementi, 18, killed himself last year, days after his roommate spied on him during his intimate encounter. The case is still in court; the roommate, Dharun Ravi, is charged with 15 criminal counts, and his trial is set for February.
The family said the organization is a certified 501(c)(3) charity that seeks donations.
On the foundation's website, the organizers say it will solicit funds and make grants to individuals and institutions.