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School Officials Knew Victim Couldn't Swim

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WPIX: The teacher of a sixth grade girl who drowned off the waters of Long Beach last month has been fired, school officials announced Wednesday.

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According to a new report, the first year teacher at Columbia Secondary School in Harlem, identified as Erin Bailey, knew Nicole Suriel, 12, couldn't swim. The young girl died during the June 22 class trip.

Several students told investigators that Bailey allowed students, who couldn't swim, to go into the water. However, the children claim they were only allowed in as far as their thighs or waist.

Many of the children who couldn't swim say they were quickly overcome by the waves.

One student claims Suriel vanished into the ocean for more than an hour after wading into water that reached far above her knees and her waist. She was later pulled from the ocean -- however emergency crews were not able to rescutitate her.

The report indicates that three good Samaritans attempted to save Suriel, however they couldn't get a good grasp on her.

In addition, school officials claim Principal Jose Maldonado-River was slapped with two year probation, while Assistant Principal Andrew Stillman has been demoted.

The pair were apparently unaware that no lifeguards would be on duty during the time of the trip.

Read more stories in the news.


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1 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 15, 2010, 7:42 AM

If her parents knew she couln’t swim, why did they let her go on the field trip?


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