And finally… prima donna

An Italian teacher who was dismissed after being absent for 20 out of 24 years of her service at schools around Venice has pledged to share her version of events.

Cinzia Paolina De Lio was terminated from her position in 2017 after returning to work for four months, prompting a flurry of complaints. Following a legal dispute, Italy’s Supreme Court confirmed her dismissal, citing her absences as evidence of a “permanent and absolute ineptitude”.

De Lio, however, denounced the verdict, vowing to “reconstruct the truth”. The secondary school history and philosophy teacher said she has documents supporting her account.

Speaking to la Repubblica newspaper, she said: “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 continued. “I don’t answer questions from journalists thrown around that wouldn’t do justice to the truth of my story.”

After a Venice judge reinstated De Lio in 2018, the education ministry appealed against this decision, and last week, the Supreme Court of Cassation overturned the reinstatement. The ministry pointed out De Lio’s prolonged absences, with 10 full years of non-attendance and the remaining 10 years marked by illness and personal or family matters.

During the four months in 2015 when De Lio did teach in Chioggia near Venice, students reportedly criticised her lack of preparation, failure to bring textbooks, and her “random and improvised” marking methodology.

Share icon
Share this article: