Student protests continue; death threat against local journalist
Protests against the Italian school system
On 4th February 2022, 100,000 students protested against some aspects of the school system in over 40 Italian cities. More specifically, the protest followed the death of 18-year-old student Lorenzo Peralli, who died while working during an internship. The so-called “alternanza scuola-lavoro" is introduced in the school system and aims to increase the employability of young students. As reported previously on the Monitor, in January 2022, protests were organised on the same issue, resulting in students being hit with batons.
In the following weeks, protests continued after 16-year-old student Giuseppe Lenoci died in an accident during a trip with a colleague to perform work-related tasks as part of his curricular internship. On 18th February 2022, police were reportedly injured during protests in Turin. Some student organisations have called for the Ministry of Interior and Minister of Education to resign.
Students claim that unpaid curricular internships do not provide actual work and are too often a form of exploitation which does not contribute to their personal and professional development.
The students also asked for another approach to the final high school exam (esame di maturità) to be introduced, making the point that the exam should consider the impact of the pandemic and distance learning on their educational programme.
Death threat against local journalist
On 22nd March 2022, Maria Bertone, the director of two local papers, Cronache di Napoli and Cronache di Caserta, received death threats allegedly sent by a convicted mafioso, Giovanni Cellulare who wrote to her from Palermo prison, where he is spending his life sentence. The threatening message includes a reference to the fact that as soon as he is out of prison, he will have her “blown up” and that he is asking every member of the clan being released before him to put ten bullets in her head. Maria Bertone declared that throughout her career, she had to come to terms with the fact that someone will always try to silence journalists.
“Unfortunately, every day, we have come to terms that someone wants to silence us, whether it is Camorra, white-collar workers or simple hotheads. I remember when I was a young reporter, at work for a few months, I received a letter in the mailbox with letters cut from the newspaper. I was “invited” to stop writing about the “turbulence” in the management of my country's waste service. But I didn't stop then; I won't do it now.”
The President of the Order of journalists of the Campania region expressed his solidarity with Bertone and the staff of the two newspapers, highlighting that no threat can limit the freedom of the press.
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