Swim teacher fired after Detroit student's drowning
The Detroit board of education has voted unanimously to terminate a swim teacher whose student was found in the bottom of a Mumford High School swimming pool last month.
The teacher, who worked in the Detroit Public Schools Community District for more than a decade, was terminated by the board Tuesday night at the recommendation of Superintendent Nikolai Vitti, district officials confirmed Wednesday.
Da’Sean Blanding was found in a Mumford High School pool on Feb. 24. His case could become a criminal investigation and remains under investigation by Detroit Police. The Detroit News is not naming the teacher because no charges have been filed.
Blanding's mother alleges her 15-year-old, learning-disabled son was bullied and beaten before he was forced into the water and while his teacher left the class unsupervised.
Christina Blanding has alleged her son was bleeding from the nose and mouth when he was pulled from the pool and had marks on his neck. She said she saw the injuries when she viewed her son's body at the hospital.
Detroit police officials said Wednesday the case remains under investigation and the cause and manner of death are pending.
The teacher's attorney, Anthony Adams, said Wednesday his client is devastated by the teen's death and is appealing his termination to the state's Teacher Tenure Commission.
Adams said the swim class had 34 students in it and the police have not yet determined what happened or who is at fault.
"I believe the district acted hastily in its decision to terminate (the teacher). All the facts have not been disclosed," Adams said. "His story has not yet been told. This is an attempt to scapegoat (him).
The teacher had been on paid administrative leave.