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Student's drowning prompts investigation of high school gym class

A recent drowning during a Connecticut high school gym class raises questions about pool safety. Concerns arose when a classmate noticed the 14-year-old student motionless in the bottom of the pool. The gym teacher pulled the student from the water and began performing CPR as 911 calls were made. Medics arrived within minutes of the call, but the teenager was not able to be resuscitated and was declared dead at a nearby hospital.

There were approximately 15 students in this gym class and a teacher was supervising the students. A security camera of the pool area reportedly shows the teenager climbing into the pool's deep end and quietly slipping into the water. Other students continued swimming above him. The student was allegedly underwater for 17 minutes before his classmate alerted the teacher. It is unclear where the teacher was during this 17-minute period of time.

There are established regulations for pool safety. According to a report, Connecticut law requires pools to have signs clearly indicating where the pool's depth changes. The teenager's brother alleged that he knew his brother was learning to swim in gym class, but he thought his brother was staying in the shallow end of the pool while he was learning.

It is possible that this teenager's death could have been prevented if he had been under closer supervision during the class. Pools can be very dangerous, especially for a person who does not yet know how to swim well. This teenager came to the United States less than a year ago with his family. Now, his high school age brother and parents are facing the challenge of comprehending the teen's sudden death.

If his life could have been saved with additional safety regulations or if safety provisions were not followed at the school, his death could be considered wrongful. In this situation, his family could potentially receive compensation for expenses incurred as a result of his death.

Source:, "Teen dies after being pulled from Manchester High School pool," Jesse Leavenworth, Nov. 21, 2012, "Source: Student was underwater for about 17 minutes," Jesse Leavenworth, Nov. 27, 2012

For additional information on pursuing compensation after an accident like this, please visit our Tampa wrongful death webpage.

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