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Greek Teen Wrote Bullying Drove Him to Suicide

July 10, 2018

ATHENS – Greek police are investigating whether a 15-year-old boy found hanged on the balcony of his family home in the neighborhood of Argyroupoli on the morning of July 8 had been a victim of bullying at school.

Police sources told Kathimerini he left a note explaining that he could not face continuing with his life due to the bullying and wrote the names of those he said were the aggressors.

The boy’s parents told the authorities they had not noticed that he had any problems at school. They found him hanged from the balcony of their home a few hours after he had returned from a party.
A survey in 2015 from the group Smile of the Child showed some 33 percent of students in schools had faced bullying.

In December, 2016 a Greek farming school former director received a suspended sentence after being found guilty of negligence in the bullying suicide of a 20-year-old student and didn’t go to jail in a case which critics said was a cover-up involving the families of protected politicians.

The Appeals Court gave the two-year sentence but no time in the death of Vangelis Giakoumakis and acquitted the head of the dormitory at the Ioannina school in northern Greece as well as former minister Christos Markoyannakis, a New Democracy deputy, who stood accused of trying to protect the student who allegedly bullied Giakoumakis, Kathimerini said.

The former director was accused of failing to react to reports that Giakoumakis was being victimized by fellow students at the school and that the abuse led him to commit suicide.

A prosecutor had recommended the acquittal of all three defendants without explaining why. Nothing has happened to the alleged bullies. The former school director’s lawyer said his client would appeal the suspended sentence.

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