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Italian family sues elite NY boarding school where son killed himself in ‘solitary confinement’

An Italian family sued an elite Westchester County boarding school where their 17-year-old son killed himself, accusing officers of retaining the teenager in “solitary confinement” after he was expelled for dishonest on an task.

Exchange scholar Claudio Mandia was discovered lifeless in a room at EF Academy in Thornwood in February, having hung himself on the eve of his 18th birthday.

The teen had simply been expelled for dishonest on a math task, and was pressured by school officers to remain in a room alone, based on the lawsuit filed in Westchester County Supreme Court on Friday by his father, Mauro Mandia, and one other consultant of the boy’s property.

The swimsuit accuses school officers of contributing to Claudio’s dying by placing him in solitary confinement whereas he was emotionally weak, regardless of understanding that Claudio had been coping with personal points that had impacted his school efficiency.

“It was painfully foreseeable that forcing [Claudio] into solitary confinement, malnourishing him, and inadequately supervising him after delivering the life-altering news that he would be expelled – all while he was enduring other hardships that EF Academy knew about and was treating him for – could result in his tragic death,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit claims the school put Claudio in solitary confinement, inflicting him to take his personal life.
Courtesy of EF Academy

The swimsuit alleges wrongful dying, negligence, false imprisonment and emotional misery, amongst different costs towards EF Academy, 4 school officers, its father or mother company and 20 different unnamed defendants. Claudio’s family is demanding punishment for the school in addition to compensation.

A spokesperson for the school told NBC News in an announcement that the filling contained “multiple inaccurate statements” and disputed the declare that Claudio was “placed in solitary confinement.”

“The narrative that is shared in the legal filing is not accurate or based on fact,” the assertion stated. “We are confident that the legal process will allow us to provide and prove a fact-based legal case recounting what actually transpired.”

Mandia and Elisabetta Benesatto enrolled their son at EF Academy — which has a whopping tuition of $66,500 per year for college students who dwell full-time on campus — in the autumn of 2020 after he expressed curiosity in a global tutorial expertise earlier than attending a college in Italy, based on the swimsuit. He was accepted to the school’s two-year International Baccalaureate Program.

In his first year on the school, he acquired comparatively good grades — together with an “A” in math — and was famous by his lecturers as “having a good sense of humor,” “helpful” and “a very good math student,” based on the swimsuit.

EF Academy
Tuition at EF Academy can value as a lot as $65,000 per year.
Courtesy of EF Academy

In November 2020, one other Italian scholar who was expelled from the academy additionally tried suicide, based on the swimsuit, which notes Claudio was not concerned in that incident.

The following year, bother started for {the teenager}. He was pressured to remain at dwelling in Battipaglia, Italy after the school’s winter break after a number of family members contracted COVID-19.

“This caused [Claudio] to fall behind in his academic work, and when [Claudio] did return to campus after being quarantined, he was under a lot of pressure to try and catch up,” the swimsuit alleges.

“Then, less than two weeks after his delayed return to campus, [Claudio] suffered the unexpected loss of a close family member, which upset him terribly and caused him to seek counseling from EF Academy’s in-house social worker Chelsea Lovece,” the swimsuit says.

While Claudio was looking for psychological assist, he was expelled for plagiarism and positioned in solitary confinement on Feb. 14 till his dad and mom arrived to select him up.

While he was locked up away from all different college students and employees, his meals had been delivered proper to his room, where trash started to pile up, the swimsuit alleges.

“[Claudio] screamed and cried for help while held in solitary confinement. EF Academy and the individual Defendants callously ignored him,” the swimsuit says. 

The day earlier than he was anticipated to depart the school, he encountered three staffers with seen marks on his neck that indicated a earlier suicide try.

The following morning, Claudio’s youthful sister, who was additionally a scholar on the school, then pleaded with Lovece to examine on her brother. Lovece instructed the woman that she had knocked on his door earlier that morning, and that she believed he was asleep when he didn’t answer.

When she checked on him once more later that morning, he was discovered lifeless.

“EF Academy’s implementation of its solitary confinement protocol, combined with its grossly negligent – and indeed blatantly abusive – handling of [Claudio] known risk factors, was truly outrageous and warrants the imposition of punitive damages to ensure such conduct does not ever happen again.”

SUICIDE HOTLINE LANGUAGE: If you might be fighting suicidal ideas or are experiencing a psychological well being disaster and dwell in New York City, you’ll be able to name 1-888-NYC-WELL free of charge and confidential disaster counseling. If you reside exterior the 5 boroughs, you’ll be able to dial the 24/7 National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.

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