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After student drowning, SRVUSD posting lifeguards at school pools, halting PE swimming

Original post made on Aug 16, 2018

In the first action announced since the drowning of 15-year-old freshman Benjamin Curry in the San Ramon Valley High School pool last spring, school district officials have hired lifeguards to work at school pools to enhance safety when students are in the pools, a program that began with the start of school Monday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 4:15 PM

Comments (12)

Posted by Lincoln
a resident of Danville
on Aug 16, 2018 at 9:18 am

Lincoln is a registered user.

School is back in session and it has been more than three months since Ben Curry's drowning death in the the SRV High School pool. This article states that the SRVUSD has finished its investigation into his death. Will the school district release a report on that investigation, so that we can know what facts it considered and what conclusions it reached?

[Portion removed pending verification of yet-unverified information]

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 16, 2018 at 9:42 am

This is such a sad and tragic story. I am glad the teacher will not be facing legal issues and jail time, but that said, he is responsible for this death. I am sure it was an accident, but because of his negligence, this boy was left in the pool for the entire lunch period. A simple head count as students are walking in and out of the gated pool would have prevented this. If this teacher took 30 more seconds, he would have seen a folded unused towel and sneakers left on the bleachers, and he would’ve seen a body in the water.

Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2018 at 7:32 am

I was told from a person who attended the meeting that the Pe teacher ( also football coach) made the class tread water for 3 minutes as punishment for goofing around. If anyone touched the wall they had to do another 3 minutes.
It was after this that the young man went under and drowned. Parents are livid that the teacher has not been fired.

Posted by ConcernedParent
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2018 at 8:18 am

Most parents who were at the meeting are incredibly upset the teacher has not been fired. As should you. Taking a head count was just part of his negligence. How about making the class do several minutes of treading water as corporal punishment? Even water polo players said their legs were 'burning.' How would an ordinary student feel if an experienced swimmer was suffering? I'll tell you. Their bodies likely felt like 500 lb sandbags and could barely keep their heads above water. IMHO this boy drowned because a meathead football coach treated ordinary students like 'his' players and inflicted physical pain to discipline them.
AND...the district knew this was the case the entire time but let rumors fly for a month or more about this young person committing suicide. Shame on the district.

Posted by Mrsz2
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2018 at 8:24 am

First and foremost, my thoughts are with the Curry family and can’t even imagine their suffering because of the needless, tragic loss of their son. There is a Go Fund Me Page still open for donations. As SRVHS parents, the least we can do is contribute. As for the comments above, Lincoln is always spot on. The school should release the results of their investigation so parents can be assured that the reactive measures the district has taken are sufficient to protect other children from the same fate. I disagree with Marie in regards to the fate of the PE teacher. I got to know him over the years in his role of teaching and coaching my children. I thought he was one of the better members of the faculty at SRVHS. But, as professionals, we have a duty while at work to those who we are responsible. I am a healthcare professional who has to carry malpractice insurance because I have a duty to those I care for and if that duty is breeched, I can be found liable. Why the teacher was not found responsible and still has a job is beyond my comprehension... unless the district is circling the wagons and won’t admit fault to protect themselves against pending litigation.

Posted by Carrie M. Bean
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Carrie M. Bean is a registered user.

I am stunned to learn that this "teacher" still has a job. I hope the parents sue and one of the conditions of the settlement is that this "man" be fired. I had sports playing kids and I never agreed with the "run them til they drop" philosophy of some of the coaches my kids had over the years. I feel so very sad for his parents. What a senseless loss of a young life. I think the parents who have kids in this school should DEMAND that he be fired. I would. I wouldn't want one of my kids to be his next victim. I think he's heartless, irresponsible and cruel. Does anyone know if he has even apologized to the family? Not that it would make a difference, but I suppose I would like to think that on some level at least, he is sorry for his cruelty, heartlessness and negligence. Put the pressure on parents. People on TV get fired for saying the wrong thing, but a teacher is responsible for a child's death and keeps his job? That's sick.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2018 at 10:57 pm

Concerned parent, I agree that he should be fired, but since I do not think he intentionally murdered someone, my statement that I’m glad he does not have to go to jail still stands. The fact that he has to live the rest of his life knowing that he was responsible for a young boy’s death should be punishment enough.

Mrsz2, I don’t think our thoughts are too far apart. I do not know this teacher nor his teaching style.

Posted by SoConfused
a resident of Alamo
on Aug 22, 2018 at 9:53 pm

I'm so confused. Didn't the initial report state that the student had marijuana in his system? Couldn't that have contributed to his drowning?

Posted by Parent
a resident of Danville
on Aug 23, 2018 at 11:47 am

Report from coroner ruled this out because level was very low. The THC can be from a week or more.

Posted by Parent
a resident of Danville
on Oct 6, 2018 at 7:59 am

More information on drowning Web Link

How is Aaron Becker not fired he walked away from a drowning kid. Benjamin was following directions so he did not touch the wall or the ropes resulting in his death. I heard from students that Aaron returned to work the next day. What kind of man can do that? We are talking about a football coach an example to our young men. SRVUSD shame on you. By SRVUSD not taking action it is putting it's stamp of approval on Aaron Beckers actions.

Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Oct 6, 2018 at 8:13 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

To Parent: I think the school hasn’t terminated Aaron Becker because that would be admitting liability. The district is trying to protect themselves from the pending litigation. It’s so very wrong but it falls under the respondent superior doctrine. I doubt Aaron Becker has millions to pay out for a wrongful death judgement. But the district does. Because he was working as an employee of the district, the district would have to pay for the damages caused by Aaron Becker. I think as SRVHS parents, we should begin a petition and present it to the district stating we want Aaron Becker placed on administrative leave as a first step. As parents, we carry power to evoke change.

Posted by Grandparent
a resident of Danville
on Oct 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm

This situation is an absolute preventable tragedy. My heart goes out to the Curry family.
What I don’t understand is why the school board and superintendent aren’t being held ultimately accountable. In my opinion the first move is to fire the superintendent on whose watch this happened. From what I’ve read and have knowledge of, the superintendent has his head in the sand and needs to go. I also agree tha teacher needs to be let go but not as the sacrificial lamb for the superintendent. The school is responsible for the safety of each student and this tragedy is an incredible failure on multiple levels.

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