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Mass procession bid farewell to the boy, victim of school bullying

17 March 2015 / 20:03:34  GRReporter
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Relatives, friends and thousands of people escorted on his last journey 20-year-old Vangelis Yakoumakis, a student at the Ioannina dairy industry school, whose tragic death shocked all of Greece. The procession was held in the village of Seli, 17 km from the town of Rethymno, Crete, today at noon.

Thousands of young people from the island had filled the village church and cemetery from early morning until late afternoon, holding one white carnation with a white ribbon.

"Let the white coffin and white flowers show the government that we want this colour, white and pure. We, all the young people who are next to Vangelis today, will fight for him," a young primary school teacher and a childhood friend of the deceased told ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ agency.

The funeral was conducted by Archbishop of Rethymno Eugene and attended by governor of Crete Stavros Arnautakis, deputy governor of Rethymno Meri Lioni, former Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, municipal representatives both from the Rethymno area and from neighbouring areas.

Minister of Education Aristidis Baltas, companies and organizations of Cretans from all over Greece and student organizations had sent wreaths. This was the message that everyone wanted to send against school bullying that has become more frequent in local communities. Thousands of strangers had come to support the mourning family, wanting to say "no" to school bullying with their presence.

Among those present was President of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization "Demeter" Costas Melidis, director of the Ioannina dairy industry school, who has recently assumed office and Vangelis’ schoolmates. The funeral took place in the village of Seli, which Vangelis had adored. It was his father’s birthplace where the boy had worked as a volunteer every summer in support of the activities of the local cultural society.

Day of mourning

The local government in the village of Armenia, where Vangelis lived, announced today a day of mourning.

Not only his neighbours in the village but also the residents of Crete cannot yet believe the news of the tragic death of the 20-year-old young man who, according to sources, had decided to end his life because he could not cope with the threats, humiliation and harassment to which he had been subjected by his schoolmates at the vocational school.

St. Anna Church in the city of Ioannina held a service in memory of the dead boy, which was attended by his teachers and schoolmates. Immediately after that, all went to the place where Vangelis Yakoumakis had been found dead to light a candle and leave flowers.

The flag in the yard of the vocational school is lowered to half mast and the few students who agreed to speak to journalists said they hoped that justice and police investigation would reveal whether there was a culprit.

Among the students at the place where Vangelis had been found dead were the boys from Crete who are suspected of bullying. When asked whether they would like to say something, they replied they were mourning; they would like to express their condolences to the relatives of their 20-year-old schoolmate and to leave a flower.


The authorities will start to investigate from scratch the sequence of events that had led to the tragic death of the young man. According to initial data from the forensic examination, the case concerns committing suicide and it is of crucial importance that the students from the vocational school break the silence.

The police have reported that only 4-5 of around 80 testimonies obtained so far are essential, containing facts and names. Indicative is the fact that the investigation is extending beyond the suspected students from Crete, who seem to have repeatedly humiliated Vangelis Yakoumakis with their words and actions.

Tags: Vangelis YakoumakisFuneralSchool bullyingVocational school
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