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Society

Greek Universities Back Off Bully Reports, Fear Student Backlash

February 26, 2018

ATHENS – Administrators of Greek universities and technical colleges are holding back required reports on bullying as a special committee on campus violence is due to begin its work in March under former justice minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos.

Only a few schools have complied so far, Kathimerini reported, reportedly because school officials don’t want to tangle with students who regularly interrupt classes, take over buildings and disrupt the universities, where violence also has been increasing.

The officials were urged to come forward with the reports with no sign it was happening as they are often reluctant to take on students at universities where an asylum law protects them and prevents police from coming onto the grounds without permission.

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.

The Appeals Court gave the two-year sentence but no time in the death of Vangelis Giakoumakis but 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. The former school director’s lawyer said his client would appeal the suspended sentence.

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