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

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

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

Change pupil 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 teenager had simply been expelled for dishonest on a math task, and was pressured by college officers to remain in a room alone, in line with the lawsuit filed in Westchester County Supreme Court docket on Friday by his father, Mauro Mandia, and one other consultant of the boy’s property.

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

Claudio Mandia hanged himself in a room on the EF Academy in Thornwood in February.Courtesy of @claudio__mandia

“It was painfully foreseeable that forcing [Claudio] into solitary confinement, malnourishing him, and inadequately supervising him after delivering the life-altering information that he can be expelled – all whereas he was enduring different hardships that EF Academy knew about and was treating him for – may lead to his tragic dying,” the lawsuit states.

The swimsuit alleges wrongful dying, negligence, false imprisonment and emotional misery, amongst different expenses in opposition to EF Academy, 4 college officers, its mother or father firm and 20 different unnamed defendants. Claudio’s household is demanding punishment for the varsity in addition to compensation.

A spokesperson for the varsity informed NBC Information in a press release that the filling contained “a number of inaccurate statements” and disputed the declare that Claudio was “positioned in solitary confinement.”

“The narrative that’s shared within the authorized submitting will not be correct or primarily based on truth,” the assertion mentioned. “We’re assured that the authorized course of will enable us to supply and show a fact-based authorized case recounting what truly transpired.”

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

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

In his first yr on the college, he acquired comparatively good grades — together with an “A” in math — and was famous by his academics as “having a superb humorousness,” “useful” and “an excellent math pupil,” in line with the swimsuit.

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

The next yr, bother started for {the teenager}. He was pressured to remain at house in Battipaglia, Italy after the varsity’s winter break after a number of relations contracted COVID-19.

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

“This precipitated [Claudio] to fall behind in his tutorial work, and when [Claudio] did return to campus after being quarantined, he was below a variety of strain to attempt to catch up,” the swimsuit alleges.

“Then, lower than two weeks after his delayed return to campus, [Claudio] suffered the sudden lack of a detailed member of the family, which upset him terribly and precipitated him to hunt counseling from EF Academy’s in-house social employee Chelsea Lovece,” the swimsuit says.

Whereas Claudio was searching 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.

Whereas he was locked up away from all different college students and workers, his meals have been delivered proper to his room, the place trash started to pile up, the swimsuit alleges.

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

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

The next morning, Claudio’s youthful sister, who was additionally a pupil on the college, then pleaded with Lovece to verify on her brother. Lovece informed the lady that she had knocked on his door earlier that morning, and that she believed he was asleep when he didn’t reply.

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

“EF Academy’s implementation of its solitary confinement protocol, mixed with its grossly negligent – and certainly blatantly abusive – dealing with of [Claudio] identified threat elements, was really outrageous and warrants the imposition of punitive damages to make sure such conduct doesn’t ever occur once more.”

SUICIDE HOTLINE LANGUAGE: If you’re combating suicidal ideas or are experiencing a psychological well being disaster and stay in New York Metropolis, you’ll be able to name 1-888-NYC-WELL free of charge and confidential disaster counseling. For those who stay exterior the 5 boroughs, you’ll be able to dial the 24/7 Nationwide Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to

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