So Dharun Ravi got sentenced today for his cyber-bullying/hate crime. Surprisingly it was a relatively light sentence with 30 days in county jail , community service and probation for 3 years. Many people felt this was not sufficient punishment for the crimes. They said prison time (up to possibly 10 years) would have been more just. The judge was not so harsh on the sentencing but did reprimand Ravi for not apologizing.
I have been torn on how I feel about this case in general. On the one hand I think the cyber-bullying was awful and really feel for Tyler Clementi‘s family. I mean even though it was not a direct cause for his suicide, I’m sure Ravi’s actions seriously contributed to Clementi’s despair. I don’t think anyone should be publicly humiliated and tormented like that. On the other hand, I am raising 2 kids and know that youngsters sometimes do things and don’t think of the consequences. This doesn’t excuse their actions but it does mean that they weren’t acting out of hate and malice. Ravi, however, is technically an adult so I don’t know if I should compare his actions to things I hear about in elementary schools.
I know that there is more awareness now about the bullying issue and hate crimes. This is why many actually thought that Ravi would be made an example of and get an overly harsh sentence. I don’t think that would be fair either just to make him a poster child for this problem. However, I think the sentence he did get was very light. The fact that he always came off arrogant and without any remorse doesn’t make me feel much sympathy either. Many times people do things they regret because they get caught up trying to be cool or get attention. So, I recognize that but then those people generally seem truly sorry if someone gets hurt. I don’t know if that happened here. I’m sure Ravi’s life will suffer with this stigma of what he did but he still has a life. The whole incident and everything that ensued is just tragic and makes me fear for my boys and the situations they will face as they grow up. I hope they continue to open up to me so we can discuss situations and learn appropriate responses and behaviors.