“You’re slow, move over or you’ll make the other passengers miss their train”, would have said a ticket agent of the train station of Conegliano to a group of seven boys with Down’s syndrome, aged 24-31, coming from the province of Treviso, during their two day trip to Venice. The complaint comes from the Association for People with Down’s Syndrome of the Marca Trevigiana and the case has exploded in all its gravity. Trenitalia has quickly issued a notification with an apology for this “disrespectful and offensive behaviour”.
Unfortunately, the boys have been subjected to the same discrimination at the train station of Mestre, where they had to change their train and take the one going to Venice. Here the ticket agent has gone even further, saying to one of the helper: “Listen to me, since I have more experience than you. These guys are not able to learn. If you do for them, you do a favor for the community.”
“The boys were queuing up as the other passengers”, has declared the Association’s president Giuseppe Capitanio. The other customers were allowed to pass forward, the boys were forced to move over and go to the end of the queue and they missed their train. “The thing that most hurts us, besides the fact itself, is that none of the people queuing felt bound to step in and defend us”, has said the responsible of the Association to Repubblica.
Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo