The cases of Phoebe Prince, a 15 year old who committed suicide after experiencing extensive harassment at her high school in Massachusetts, and Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old college freshman whose roommate used a secret webcam to publicize Clementi’s same-sex relationship, have recently put the spotlight on the effects of bullying and jumpstarted local and national anti-bullying campaigns. Several students face prosecution in light of the two suicides, including Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, who may spend up to 10 years in prison for a bias intimidation charge that accuses him of acting because of Clementi’s sexual orientation.
“This prosecution has also shattered the myths that bullying is just part of growing up, that it affects only a small number of kids, and that kids can work it out themselves,” said David Sullivan, a prosecutor in the Prince case. “The era of turning a blind eye to bullying and harassment is over.”
Empowering America’s Women
While Mothers’ Day serves as a reminder of the importance of mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sisters across the nation, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D. N.Y. reminds us that there is still much work to be done toward gender equality. In this op-ed, Gillibrand emphasizes the importance of The Paycheck Fairness Act, which will close the 78 cent gap between men and women’s average pay, in addition to a bill that works toward ending the $25 tax on child support checks, and the need to encourage more women to run for public office.
“Things are demonstrably worse for young blacks. It is still shocking to see the numbers of young black men that are in jail today,” said Lew Zuchmann, a Freedom Rider who runs a large nonprofit serving inner-city youth in New York. “We’ve got rid of some cosmetic issues that were important, but things haven’t changed that much.”
Fifty years later, the nation remembers the legacy of the brave black and white youth, the Freedom Riders, who joined together across the South to oppose racial segregation. But these same heroes question whether today’s youth are as actively involved in fighting against modern racial inequality.
Compiled by Alice Thompson, a Winter/Spring intern