I was not expecting this end for Vangelis. Deep down I was sure that Vangelis was hidden somewhere – terrified and yet alive . I would expect that he was just waiting that the noise was going to cool down and in the aftermath he would return . And after his coming back , he would have acquired 10 million friends , all of us who never would treaten him as his “frends” or “fellows” .
Greek Police have discovered the body of Vangelis Giakoumakis, the 20-year-old student who went missing over a month ago.
The discovery brings to an end a nationwide police search over the mysterious disappearance that has been the focus of much media attention.
Giakoumakis, who was originally from Rethymno in Crete was studying at the Ioannina Dairy School. On February the 6th Vangelis, who would normally inform his roommate of his plans, suddenly left the rooms they shared saying,’Should I take the keys or leave them?’ He ended up taking his keys but left behind his wallet, his phone and his jacket despite the single-digit temperatures.
Later after repeated attempts to contact him, Vangelis’s mother called some of his fellow students to ask if they knew of his whereabouts. As time passed and Vangelis’s disappearance became more concerning, a group of students that evening formed several groups to search for him but to no avail.
Over the next days the emergency services aided by volunteers scoured the area around the Dairy School. The grounds of the facility are extensive, covering an expanse of about 20 acres although only about 2.5 acres are in active use. The remaining expanse is covered in thick vegetation networked with canals and a marsh which connect to the lake of Pamvotida. The area was combed by teams on foot as well as boat patrols and a helicopter, but no trace of Vangelis was found.
Every day that passes saw the mystery of Vangelis’s disappearance deepen. Among the most puzzling aspects of the case is why the young student left his dorm so suddenly without taking his wallet, phone or even coat despite the cold weather. Police officers investigating the case at the time said, “It’s like the earth opened up and swallowed him.”
As the search progressed troubling reports began to emerge of Giakoumakis having been the victim of a vicious campaign of bullying at the Ioannina Dairy School. An investigation conducted by a three-member committee from the Hellenic Organisation of Agriculture into the conditions at the higher learning institution found that Giakoumakis had been the victim of a particularly harsh campaign of harassment perpetrated by another group of students from Crete.
Specifically it appears that the students, who were from traditional farming communities in Crete, picked on the shy and introverted Giakoumakis for not being ‘manly enough’.
The bullying is thought to have started last year and saw Giakoumakis routinely subjected to humiliations such as being locked in a cupboard and forced to sing like a ‘jukebox’ before being allowed out. Students reportedly told the authorities that Giakoumakis was also harassed in the showers, pushed down stairs and tormented to the point where he had become fearful of leaving his room at night.
The harassment came to the attention of school’s authorities as early as last spring when Giakoumakis asked to change his rooms. The school informed Giakoumakis’s family of the change and that Vangelis appeared to be depressed. However it appears that Vangelis subsequently downplayed the incident when talking to his mother.
While it appears that the bullying subsequently subsided, there are reports of a resurgence in the campaign of harassment against Giakoumakis only days before his disappearance.
The final report by the three-member committee found extensive evidence of violence and intimidation within the school. On its release the Alternate Minster of Procutive Reconstruction, Vangelis Apostolou demanded the resignation of the head of the Ioannina Dairy School and that the report be sent to the relevant prosecutor to investigate potential criminal responsibilities on the part of the faculty.
Giakoumakis’s corpse is found
While there had been hopes that Giakoumakis had fled the school, fueled by alleged sightings including one in Piraeus, ultimately the worst fears were confirmed today when Giakoumakis’s body was discovered in a ditch close to the campus.
Giakoumakis was identified by his uncle by the clothes that he was wearing given that his body was in an advanced state of decay. A knife was found close to the body although it is not clear at this point if it was involved in the unfortunate student’s death.A coroner is investigating the cause of death with suicide and murder both considered possibilities.
Thinks that we should learn from this death:
For the parents .
Accept your children. You may not like like you, may they have their very own desires , but the love and acceptance is the only solution . If your child is gay ( or anything different than what you were planning ) , embrace it – do not push it away from you . Listen to him/her and embrace it.
Ignore the very known “what people would say ,” Care only about what your heart and the heart of your child tells.
2) For the bullies.
Realize what you are doing . Hardly a “bully” person understands the seriousness of his/her actions undertaken. Bullies consider it as a joke, that the victim does not mind so or that he/her resists – because they by themselves would afford it as if.
Although, it is not fun when you cannot do whichever the other does to you. When he or her is not laughing. When you do it without its willing.
You must separate, in your mind,”the kind-hearted fun” you’re doing and the “one-sided psychological torture” that you do to a person .
You may think that you could endure it on your own , because you’re tough and with patience and you not take things seriously.You should learn, from today, that not everyone is thinking like this: Most people are not without feelings, and sometimes even the lives of these persons could turn into a hell and as you continue your bullying they are capable to put an end to it to stop from suffering.
If you feel that you can hurt someone and you cannot stop it, ask for some psychological support by your own: you’re going to do good to others and especially to yourself .
3. For the other “Vangelis” of this world
Ask for help now.
You may think that everyone is against you, that you can not talk to your family, that no one will understand, but you’re wrong. Did you read what people were saying while searching for Vangelis Yakoumaki?
Everybody understood, all they felt it, everyone wanted to help him – looking for him, sending him money, writing about him.
If you pass some difficulties now, you should know that this will not keep forever if you’ll ask for help from today. Things will get better.
You may think that you are alone, but you’re not. Once you talk to the bullies gather in their niche, and support comes.
Related articles and studies:
- Missing Greek Student Found Dead Near Ioannina Lake
- Testimonies turn on the light …At the Dairy School and at the nearby lakeside area focused the research of “Tunnel”.
- What should parents do if their child is bullied at school?
- Demanding change, parents push for action against bullying in Liberty schools
Bullying At Work: How to Confront and Overcome It
- Bullying Workbook for Teens: Activities to Help You Deal with Social Aggression and Cyberbullying (Teen Instant Help)