What would you do if you found out that your 18-year-old son or daughter secretly filmed his/her college roommate during a homosexual liaison? And then streamed the video of the sexual encounter online?
I have been wrestling with this question since I read this morning about an 18-year-old Rutgers University student who jumped to his death off The George Washington Bridge after he learned about his roommate’s prank.
Surely the “filmmaker” did not intend for his roommate to commit suicide. That would be too horrific to contemplate. And we all know that an 18-year-old brain isn’t always capable of making wonderful decisions and assessing the consequences of his behavior. But are these good enough excuses for such a malicious act?
Perhaps the nasty boy suspected his roommate was gay and he was thrilled to get the goods on him. A local newspaper reported that he tweeted: “I saw (my roommate) making out with a dude. Yay.”
If my teenage son had such animosity towards a fellow student and then acted on it like this, I’m not sure I could ever look at him the same way again. The newspaper article said the perpetrator and his accomplice, an 18-year-old woman, could face up to five years in prison. I’m also not sure that the solution is to lock them up.
I am pretty certain that I could never have acted so viciously when I was 18, nor could my children.