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SCHOOL

Disabled boy ‘beaten and locked in classroom’

An Italian politician has called for an investigation into allegations that a teacher at a school in Rome locked a disabled boy in a classroom to "calm him down".

Disabled boy 'beaten and locked in classroom'
The teacher is accused of locking the boy in a classroom. Classroom photo: Shutterstock

The probe also includes accusations of physical and verbal abuse against the boy, who suffers from hyperkinesis, a disorder that affects the ability to control motor movement, La Repubblica reported.

Laura Coccia, a politician with Italy's ruling Democratic Party, said the teacher at Rome's Roberto Rossellini high school, committed a "serious act of discrimination" after the child was allegedly locked in a classroom during breaktime in late May "until he calmed down".

"The pupil has been subjected to a series of repeated episodes of violence and verbal humiliation, which forced his mother to make a complaint with the police and at a tribunal for the rights of sick and disabled people", Coccia was quoted in the newspaper as saying.

She added that the case has been reported to Italy's education ministry, which has "already informed the relevant offices and forwarded my complaint to Lazio office of education". The regional education office "will carry out the necessary checks and possibly send an inspector to establish if/how the events took place."

If the allegations are confirmed, "we would face a bewildering episode that requires immediate intervention," added Concia.

Earlier this year, a teaching assistant in central Italy was suspend for allgdly hitting and ridiculing a disabled boy.

READ MORE HERE: Teacher 'hit and ridiculed' disabled boy

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ROME

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome’s River Tiber

The body of a missing 21-year-old tourist was found in the River Tiber on Thursday morning, according to media reports.

Body of missing American tourist found in Rome's River Tiber

Elijah Oliphant, from Dallas, Texas, was on holiday with his family in Rome when he went missing several days ago.

Oliphant’s parents reported his disappearance after he left his hotel room shortly after midnight on May 24th and did not return.

Hotel security footage showed him leaving the premises wearing a white undershirt and pyjama bottoms, which he was wearing when he was found.

Oliphant’s corpse was reportedly spotted by passersby near the Ponte Sisto bridge in Rome’s Trastevere district around 10am on Thursday morning. His body was positively identified by his parents.

Members of the fire brigade and river police who recovered the body say there were no obvious signs of violence, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Trastevere police are reportedly investigating the matter.

The Oliphant family had arrived in Rome for a holiday on May 23rd. When Elijah went missing the following day, his parents launched an urgent appeal to help find their son.

His disappearance was featured on the missing persons television show, Chi l’ha visto (‘Who’s seen them?’) on May 25th.

Several foreigners have been found drowned in the Tiber in recent years, though there are no indication that any of the incidents are linked.

In 2016, the body of 19-year-old American student Beau Solomon was recovered from the river.

Rough sleeper Massimo Galioto was charged involuntary manslaughter in the case, but was ultimately acquitted in 2020.

Prosecutors said that Galioto pushed Solomon in the course of a violent argument. Galioto’s defense team acknowledged that the two had argued but said the student had accidentally slipped.

In May 2019, 37-year-old Imen Chatbouri, a former athletics champion from Tunisia, was found dead in the Tiber after a night out. CCTV footage later showed she had been pushed from the Ponte Sisto bridge.

A then-26-year-old man whose advances she had rejected earlier that evening was convicted of her murder in November 2021.

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