Parents yank kids from school over Roma peers
'We can't convince them to stay' says Italian mayor10 September, 19:20
"We tried to convince them to leave their children, but they preferred taking them to Vicolungo, the town nearby," said Mayor Marisa Albertini.
Landiona, which has about 600 inhabitants and is located in Piedmont, has a history with Roma families, sometimes referred to as Gypsies.
About a decade ago, residents invited Romas to send their children to the local school to save it from closure due to low enrolments at that time.
But now, the school faces renewed problems between locals and Roma families.
The mayor says about 25 Roma children are enrolled at the school, compared to about a dozen Italian kids.
The situation has divided the small town with a local council calling it one of "absolute gravity".
The story appears to "discredit the whole community, but we are not racist," said Councillor Francesco Cavagnino.