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Editorial: Change Begins With You

Joe Clementi lost his child as a result of what has been deemed a hate crime. Another man’s son was convicted on all counts, in large part due to his twitter feed and use of social media. He used a webcam in his Rutgers University dorm room to spy on his roommate who was gay, and electronically invited others to watch. Distraught, his roommate jumped off the George Washington Bridge.

According to the report in the Sunday New York Times, Clementi read a brief statement following the verdict. What he wanted most, he is reported to have said, was to deliver a message to middle and high school students.

This is what he chose to say:

“You’re going to meet a lot of people in your lifetime. Some of these people you may not like. Just because you don’t like them doesn’t mean you have to work against them. When you see somebody doing something wrong, tell them: ‘That’s not right. Stop it.’ The change you want to see in the world begins with you.”

What is posted online stays online.

Be careful. Be responsible. Be kind. And if you have courage, be quietly proactive.

–Pat Grace