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How much is the rape of a minor disabled student worth? This is what we wonder after the verdict of the Court of the Auditors of the legal section of Tuscany. The answer will be given in a few paragraphs, but first it is worth doing some serious thinking.

The villain of this bad story is a teacher in a professional institute. This incident raises a series of questions and reflections, so that it cannot simply be ignored.
Let’s start from the beginning. The conduct of the accused “is qualified as malicious – the judges wrote in the verdict concerning the legal action n.59798 / R – for he committed the crime voluntarily and consciously”. The violent incident took place in an institute of Massa Carrara, where the teacher, taking advantage of the inability of the victim, forced him to suffer from repeated sexual abuse.

Point one. When you enroll your child in school, you think that it is a safe place, where kids are trained, educated, and helped to grow up properly. Or at least that is what school should be. You expect inspections to be constant, in depth. It is unacceptable for something like a sexual abuse to be possible.

Point two. If the child enrolled is minor, the attention must multiply, as the educational aspect is perhaps even more important than the one concerning the learning of new concepts.

Point three. If we take into account that the victim suffered from psychopathological syntoms, such as chronic illness on intellectual development, then it was expected that the whole school would put attention to any kind of interaction with the boy.

All of this has not happened. Of course, criminal justice has run its course, the “diverted” teacher has been arrested, sentenced to three years by the Supreme Court, banned forever from any job position in schools, and the Ministry has had to refund. Without quoting the sentence, the sum defined for the compensation to the victim and the family raises some doubts: €83403, all inclusive.

Here comes the opening question: not mentioning the shock of the victim, the humiliation suffered by the family, the parents’ anger, and the inadequate control systems – how much is a case such this one worth? Dozens of thousands of euro, nothing more. This is a slap to the real concept of Justice, which, according to the public opinion, is not even remotely comparable to the one stated in the courtrooms. It is not a question of money – no amount of money would be sufficient to sooth the pain of this boy and his family. It is about how the world works today.

By comparison with millionaire sentences for alleged defamation crimes committed against politicians and actors, the human devastation described above is worth a penny. It is a slap to the same concept of equity, which goes beyond the law books. It is a matter of fact that the pain of the “last ones”, the marginalized, the disabled, is less worth than that of the lucky ones, of those who have power, and live in the limelight. It is an intolerable injustice that although being “in accordance with the code” cannot be ignored. O tempora, o mores.

Translation provided by Maria Rosaria Mastropaolo

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