Vicenza, November 30 - Five alleged classroom bullies in the small northern city of Vicenza were called by police for questioning after a 16-year-old boy refused to go to school because of incessant pranks, teasing and being called 'gay'. The boy's parents told police that classmates - four boys and a girl - had been targeting the boy for his eccentric style and tastes considered too 'feminine' since September. Police were told that the student had locked their son in the girls' bathroom, hid gay pornographic magazines in his backpack and posted want ads for explicit homosexual relationships with his cell phone number at bus stops. Violence and intimidation among school children has become a growing concern in Italy following a number of highly publicized incidents in recent years involving videos on the Internet of bullies in action. Last week, a 15-year-old student took his life in Rome allegedly due to the derision he was subjected to before because of his presumed homosexuality.
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di Giovanni Pastore