Photo: Mariela Lombard / The NY Journal
Claudio Mandia, a 17-year-old Italian exchange student hanged himself at an elite boarding school in Westchester (NY), after being isolated on suspicion of “cheating” at school, denounced his family.
Mandia was found dead Saturday in a room at EF Academy in Mount Pleasant in the eve of his 18th birthdayauthorities said.
Their parents and three brothers flew to New York from Italy to celebrate his birthdaybut instead they were greeted at JFK airport by police and school officials who broke the tragic news of the young man’s death. “It was a total and devastating shock,” according to the family’s attorney, George Bochetto. “They had no idea.”
Bochetto said they were later told by students and school sources that Mandia had been placed in what the attorney described as “isolation” after administrators suspected she had “cheated” at the academy.
The lawyer stated that he is working with local investigators to reconstruct the exact sequence of events that led to Mandia’s death. He did not say exactly what the isolation ordered by the school consisted of.
The teenager was ready to graduate in May from this school that costs $62,000 a year and hoped to follow in his father’s footsteps by pursuing a career in business, he said. New York Post.
“Claudio was a wonderful person and student and He was looking forward to his family coming to New York from Italy to celebrate his eighteenth birthday.” the family said in a statement. Her parents remained in New York this week to arrange for the body’s repatriation to Italy.
“It’s a tragedy,” Bochetto summed up, adding that the results of an autopsy are expected in the next few days.
EF Academy did not address the family’s claims in a statement. “We are deeply, deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Claudio Mandia. Our thoughts are with his family and friends here in New York and in Italy. The safety of our school community is always our top priority. We have very strict policies and procedures regarding the health and well-being of young people who are far from their home countries.”
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