The tragic life of Alexandru Radita: Officials failed to save teen who died of STARVATION

As per an inquiry into Alex Radita's death, the homeschooled teen was out of school for a year, which was a crucial clue that authorities missed

The tragic life of Alexandru Radita: Officials failed to save teen who died of STARVATION
Alexandru Radita died in May 2013 and he was just 37 pounds (Screenshot from Global News)
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CALGARY, ALBERTA: As a probe into the death of a homeschooled boy continues, it has been discovered that the tragedy could have been avoided if authorities had paid attention to the crucial clues. Alexandru Radita, 15, died in 2013 at his Calgary home. At the time he was weighing just 37 pounds.

Later, his cause of death was determined as bacterial sepsis, which was the result of starvation and untreated diabetes. Four years after his death, in 2017, his parents — Emil and Rodica Radita — were convicted for his murder and sentenced to life behind bars. At the time, it was also reported that both the culprits have to be in prison for 25 years before becoming eligible for parole.

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Now, an inquiry has reportedly been launched to find out ways to avoid any such tragedy in future. During the investigation, which began earlier this week, fingers have been raised at Alberta's home-schooling system. As per reports, Radita was enrolled in the same system as a student of Grade 5 in 2009. However, in that year, he failed to submit any work and as a result, his admission was canceled by the School of Hope online school. Not just that, he was then never enrolled for the online school.

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Alberta Education field services manager Christine Bouchard gave her testimony during the inquiry, claiming that a new automated system had now been included that ascertains if students were not enrolled for schooling. The system also informs school boards if registration had not happened. 

However, the same system was not in place in 2009, Bouchard claimed before adding, "The education system also currently places trust in parents to make the right decisions for their children’s education,” Calgary Herald reported. She added, “We work together to try to ensure that students are registered somewhere. It’s a system built on faith that the parents are going to do the right thing with their children.”

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Provincial court Judge Sharon Van de Veen stated, "In Radita's case, it was only the school that could have stopped what happened to him. When a child is not attending school for the entire year, someone should be checking up on that. In this case, that child endured incredible suffering while no systems were there to assist him. How (can we) avoid something like that from happening again?”

Earlier, it was reported that the teenager was forced to live in "purposeful isolation" by his mother and father. According to CBC, Crown prosecutor Susan Pepper said, "He had no friends or teachers or support people or doctors, or really anyone.” 

She continued, “I think that there are probably, unfortunately, children in the same situation as Alex Radita. It would be naive to think there are not other children who are being isolated by their parents so those parents can abuse and/or neglect them,” she said, adding, “As good as our system is, it should be better. That should not happen. If this case could lead to anything, it would be a meaningful discussion about how to fix things and how to make change for other children who are living in conditions that may not lead to homicide, but who are suffering.”

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If you or anyone you know suspects child abuse, you are urged to immediately call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential and the hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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