In an emotional plea to end homophobic bullying, international software company SAP has thrown its support behind the It Gets Better anti-bullying campaign.
During the 11-minute video message, SAP employees share personal messages about coming out.
In the film, parents Steve and Pati Fehr talk about the death of their 18 year-old son Jeff who took his life on January 1 after suffering years of bullying as an openly gay teenager.
“In honour of Jeff, the least we can do is share his story with others in the hope that at least one person does not make the fatal decision Jeff made and another family does not have to endure the pain, agony and loss we are enduring,” Fehr said.
“For Pati and me, that is why the It Gets Better films are so important.
“We need to continue to take steps to raise awareness, educate people on the impact of bullying, and initiate programs in schools to promote tolerance and social and emotional learning.”
In the video, SAP co-CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said, as a parent, he wants to see diversity supported.
“Many kids today are under pressure to conform to certain ideas to fit in,” Hagemann Snabe said.
“Being different isn’t always easy, being different can be tough.
“My company SAP has been built on innovation. We welcome different. We value different.”
The video was released in California this month with representatives from the It Gets Better Project, Trevor Project and local high schools.
SAP Australia and New Zealand employs more than 600 people serving more than 2,000 customers in major industries including the public sector, manufacturing, mining and retail.