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Teacher Sacked For 20 Years Of Absence Vows To Defend Herself

Teacher Sacked For 20 Years Of Absence Vows To Defend Herself

A teacher in Italy who was sacked for 20 years of absence in 24 years at schools near Venice has vowed to tell her side of the story.

Cinzia Paolina De Lio was dismissed in 2017 after she reappeared for four months and triggered complaints.

Italy’s highest court confirmed the dismissal after a legal battle, saying her absences showed a “permanent and absolute ineptitude”.

Ms De Lio has condemned the ruling and vowed to “reconstruct the truth”.

The secondary school teacher, who specialises in history and philosophy, said she had documents to prove her story but told Repubblica newspaper: “Sorry, but right now I’m at the beach.”

“I will reconstruct the truth of the facts of this absolutely unique and surreal story”, she said adding, “I don’t answer questions from journalists thrown around that wouldn’t do justice to the truth of my story.”

Ms De Lio was reinstated in 2018 after a ruling by a judge in Venice but the education ministry appealed against the decision and it was reversed by the Supreme Court of Cassation last week.

The ministry argued that the teacher had kept out of the classroom for 20 out of her 24 years of service. For the first 10 years she was completely absent, and her absences in the other 14 years were attributed to sickness, personal or family reasons.

The court heard that in a four-month period in 2015 when she did teach in Chioggia near Venice, students complained of her lack of preparedness, her failure to bring textbooks and her “random and improvised” way of marking.

An inspection found she was “unprepared” and “inattentive”, and students refused to take part in her classes as she was distracted by her phone.

Her 2017 dismissal turned into a legal battle, going through an appeal and counter-appeal, before finally arriving at the top court.

Her defence of “freedom of teaching” was rejected by the court which argued it was the teacher’s responsibility to guarantee students’ right to study.

Describing herself now as a freelance journalist, she told Italian media that she had documents to refute the claim that she had been absent for 20 years.

The education ministry said it would “increasingly strive to ensure that the activity of teaching is carried out with adequate professionalism”.




Source: BBC


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