Wrongful death suit filed against Thornwood school over suicide of student who was punished

A lawsuit has been filed against an international boarding school in Thornwood for the wrongful death of a 17-year-old Italian citizen who died by suicide after being punished by the school.

News 12 Staff

Nov 1, 2022, 9:32 PM

Updated 575 days ago

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A lawsuit has been filed against an international boarding school in Thornwood for the wrongful death of a 17-year-old Italian citizen who died by suicide after being punished by the school.

The attorney for Mauro Mandia and Elisabetta Benesatto, the parents of Claudio Mandia, wants the enactment of Claudio's Law. It aims to "subject even private educational institutions to the same standard of conduct, the same standards of care that public schools are required to treat their children."
Attorney George Bochetto says with an amendment like Claudio's Law, EF Academy would have to comply with the same regulations the stateDepartment of Education has in place.
Claudio was in his senior year at EF Academy when he hanged himself on Feb. 17, after he was put in solitary confinement for nearly four days for cheating on a math assignment.
"Had Claudio been treated under the same standards that apply under the New York state law, under the Department of Education, Claudio would be here with us today," says Bochetto. 
The lawsuit points the finger at school officials for isolating Claudio, knowing his mental health was suffering, saying he was enduring serious personal and academic hardships.
"Completely irresponsible and frankly reckless in the disregard for the safety, well-being, and mental health of Claudio Mandia," says Bochetto.
The boarding school said in a statement that reads in part, "The filling contains multiple inaccurate statements. In particular, the student was awaiting his departure from the school in an unlocked student dorm room...and at no time was he placed in solitary confinement without social interactions or access to other resources and facilities."
Bochetto acknowledges the door was unlocked from the inside but says Mandia was forbidden to leave.
Claudio's parents say they hope Claudio's Law can avoid another tragedy like the one their family has suffered.


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