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The parents of a French schoolboy who killed himself after complaining of being bullied at school said they were disgusted by the response of the authorities, which included a threatening letter warning they could face prison for slander.

The 15-year-old boy, named as Nicolas, killed himself on September 5, one day after children went back to class in France after the summer break.

He had moved for the new term to an establishment in Paris, after complaining of being bullied during the previous school year at his former school in Poissy, in the Yvelines region southwest of the capital.

Rather than expressing sympathy with the family's predicament, the Yvelines regional education authorities, based in Versailles, sent them a letter saying statements made by the parents had been "unacceptable" and urged them to adopt a "constructive" attitude.

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