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Teen intent on suing Austria for bullying

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Teen intent on suing Austria for bullying
File photo: APA
11:23 CET+01:00
A hearing has taken place into the case of a teenager from Vorarlberg who intends to sue the Austrian government for €21,000 because he was bullied at school and claims that his teachers failed to put a stop to it.

The 16-year old told the Regional Court of Feldkirch that his classmates at a state grammar school in Bregenz bullied him on a daily basis, ridiculing him in class, spitting at him and throwing ink-soaked paper balls at him. When he changed classes the bullies continued to shout at him every time he passed them.

He said that two of the ringleaders had choked a friend of his, and that he was so afraid of them that he refused to go on a school skiing trip.

To try and defuse the situation, the school organized two workshops with school psychologists, but the 16-year-old said that this didn’t cause any lasting improvement.

The teenager left the school last year and has since been attending a technical school, where he said he gets on with his classmates and is getting good marks.

The school maintains that it took the case seriously and was concerned for the 16-year-old’s welfare.

The teenager’s parents said that they spoke to the school principal in October and tried to intervene on numerous occasions but that little was done to stop the bullying - other than switching their son to a different class.  

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