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Parents of teen who drowned in SRVHS pool sue school district, teacher

Original post made on Nov 27, 2018

The family of 15-year-old Ben Curry, who drowned during class in the San Ramon Valley High School pool in early May, has officially filed a lawsuit against the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, claiming negligence and willful misconduct resulted in the freshman's death.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 27, 2018, 3:43 PM

Comments (62)

116 people like this
Posted by Motherof2
a resident of Danville
on Nov 27, 2018 at 7:15 pm

May Ben’s beautiful soul rest in eternal peace.

And may Aaron Becker get the sense that teaching PE/watching students isn’t his gig. To say the least.


103 people like this
Posted by Mom
a resident of Danville
on Nov 27, 2018 at 7:58 pm

No surprise. They have every right to seek a full investigation-- if there was gross negligence and breach of duty. The teacher's number one duty was safety - over teaching.

I would be so devastated if this was my son or daughter. Couldn't even imagine.

I think of his family daily...while sitting at a SRVHS football thinking of how beyond weird it is, this teacher is allowed to coach....while his friends and family are grieving. Grief doesn't just end...it's constant pain.

And does one's life mean any less, if you're not a football player or cheerleader? Imagine if a football player died during a practice....would people have turned around and called it an accident? rumor of suicide? And coach continued coaching?

Are teachers at SRVHS held to any employment standard of conduct?


125 people like this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Nov 28, 2018 at 6:42 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

As the facts in this case come to light, they are simply more and more appalling. My thoughts are with the Curry family. They are enduring something no family should have to go through.Although nothing can bring their beloved son back, I am glad the community is rallying around them with the online petition. No sweeping this under the rug as is common in our town. I hope it brings the Curry family some measure of comfort knowing how many people are behind them.


118 people like this
Posted by Grandparent
a resident of Danville
on Nov 28, 2018 at 8:53 am

Rick Schmitt needs to be terminated. As leader of the SRVUSD he is a total failure. If the school board can’t see that, then they need to be recalled. Obviously Aarron Becker should not be allowed to be anywhere near students.
The facts are pretty clear. The district had prior warnings of a preventable tragedy. Becker was derelict in his job. The district has horribly handled the whole tragedy. The burden of accountability continues to fall upon the Curry family.
Now Becker has a high price attorney advising him. Coincidentally his attorney’s spouse was a former school board member. Who’s paying that bill?
The Curry family needs the support of the community to get the closure they deserve. My question is how does that ever happen unless those responsible are held accountable.
Healing will never begin until superintendent Schmitt and teacher Becker are no longer a part of the SRVUSD district.


27 people like this
Posted by Frances B. Davism
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 28, 2018 at 9:59 am

My heart goes out to the Curry family. While swimming in the Fresno State pool 33 years ago, my daughter fainted. A friend finally found her. The life guard was reading a book. She lived but was hospitalized for weeks, had to learn to read and write etc. All over again and still has some deficits. We were lucky.


88 people like this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Nov 28, 2018 at 10:46 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

@ grandparent. Nothing surprises me with this corrupt school district. All our beginning of the year donations are probably paying for their legal fees.


102 people like this
Posted by Beth
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Nov 28, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Heartbreaking. Becker should no longer be allowed to teach, coach or work with any children for the rest of his life. At the very least, put Becker on leave until this lawsuit finishes in court. And with this information, there SHOULD be criminal charges against Becker from the Danville Police. Expired lifeguard certification while overseeing this unnecessary 9th grade PE Swim Unit, looking at his cell phone while FIFTY SEVEN kids are in a pool (verified by video surveillance) and you are the only adult present whose job is to safeguard these students. (Swim units are not even required for 9th grade PE, which IS required for all 9th graders, with few exceptions.) A child has died, obviously because of gross negligence. (Telling the class if they grab the rope at the end of a class while treading water they have to do an extra 30 seconds of water treading - was this SRVH Pool Boot Camp??? Kids at this stage of life get easily embarrassed and are afraid to look weak. It’s the most awkward stage of life and teachers know this. Becker took advantage of this knowledge by pushing this class in an irresponsible/negligent way and abused power.) And the SRVUSD School Board has had no consequences for Becker, the SRVUSD principal, or Superintendent Schmitt, all responsible for the safety of our children when we send them to school. Too painful to hear about this tragic, unnecessary death and more painful to see how horribly this district has handled this. I can’t imagine the pain and frustration the Curry family is enduring. But I thank them for pursuing this lawsuit, as emotionally difficult as it must be, on behalf of all children attending SRVUSD and my own 9th grader who fortunately doesn’t have to have an unsupervised, required 9th grade PE Swim Unit until lifeguards are properly hired now and present. Thank you Curry family and my condolences.


67 people like this
Posted by srvh- not a fan
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Nov 28, 2018 at 3:26 pm

We've had so many issues with this school. Negligent teachers, counselors who don't care about our students.....and now this. Not surprised.

My son/daughter says he/she sits in class with bully athletes and pom girls...making fun of anyone who isn't in sports. Teachers actually allow it to happen. Make fun of people's accents, differences, etc.

The school doesn't give a crap about anything besides football. We heard the football team has three times per week dinners gathering to pat each others backs on how awesome they are that they play football.

I'd love to hear about the students who get into great college NOT because of football, water polo or sports.The art, music, science students.

This teacher was probably working on his phone planning football strategy during his PE class. All ok by this administration.


3 people like this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Nov 28, 2018 at 3:35 pm

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

And the fifth period PE teacher, Ms Libby, is another bright bulb. She had to be informed by a student that there was someone on the bottom of the pool. And to think these morons are supposedly educating our children...


80 people like this
Posted by SRV Parent
a resident of Danville
on Nov 28, 2018 at 4:54 pm

Just saw this editorial:
Web Link

I am not connected to this web site in any way. But plan to support their attempt to get to the truth. Maybe a go fund is in order to help hire the lawyers to get to the truth.

The stonewall is also being done by parents that are protecting Aaron Becker and SRVUSD. Typical response to any facts is that it is not true and stop talking about the death of Ben Curry. Silence is always a benefit to the guilty. The community deserves full disclosure and I know that is what Ben's family wants and deserves.


100 people like this
Posted by SRV Parent
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2018 at 6:07 am

Becker's Lawyer stated “This is not because he doesn’t care. He is traumatized by what happened to Ben Curry,” Gagen said Tuesday. How does a traumatized person show up the next day at work and continue on as if nothing happened? Aaron Becker did not care that he was responsible for the death of a child. SRVUSD has shown that they did not care that he was responsible for the death of a child.

Ben's father told me when I hugged him at the vigil that he was dying. That is grief you feel you can not go on. You do not go to work the next day. Aaron Becker is paid to protect our kids and instead he walked away as Ben was drowning.


14 people like this
Posted by SRVParent
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2018 at 7:27 am

I hate to shout but the comments above related to this incredibly sad story are symptoms resulting from our children being "taught" by unionized teachers who have no risk of being fired. It's preposterous and outrageous that we don't require higher standards for the education of our children.


81 people like this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2018 at 8:04 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

@SRVParent. I agree that the California Teacher’s Association is a strong union and has many safeguards in place for a tenured teacher. I am a member of the CNA (California Nurses Association) and have been a representative. There are policies in place for investigatory leave. Why they aren’t being followed with Aaron Becker is the one of the mysteries of this tragedy. As information becomes available, the handling of this tragedy becomes more and more ludicrous.


92 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2018 at 3:19 pm

This will sound strange given my children are in the SRV School District...but I hope the Curry's Bankrupt the district and the 'Coach.'


88 people like this
Posted by Parent SRV high
a resident of Danville
on Nov 29, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Please sign the petition it helps to show support for the Curry's.
Web Link

Please pass link to all your friends who are in support of having the district fire Aaron Becker.

The community needs to start thinking of ways to force SRVUSD to fire Aaron Becker. Such as no more money to SRVUSD schools during registration. When they ask for the money the response should be "Ben Curry". Tell any sponsors of SRV High Football that you will not be spending money at their business until Aaron Becker is removed. Such as "Maria Maria", "Coffee Shop" , "Basque Boulangerie", "All Gear", "Danville Brewing Co", "The Kehrig Team Pacific Union", and the "Ram Properties".

The SRV High football community needs to support the drive to fire Aaron Becker. A coach is a role model to the young men. If you are silent you are in support of a man that believes a cell phone demands more attention than 57 students in a pool.


80 people like this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Nov 30, 2018 at 8:34 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

I agree with Parent SRV High. Hit them where it hurts. No more donations and no more patronizing establishments that support SRVHS until the state comes in and “cleans house” at SRVHS and at the district offices. As parents and tax payers, we have collective power to evoke the needed changes.


34 people like this
Posted by RajSingh
a resident of Blackhawk
on Nov 30, 2018 at 9:13 am

I agree with many sentiments here. I think Aaron Becker, should at minimum be disallowed from teaching PE and Coaching Football. He has proven to not be fit to watch out for the safety of kids he is responsible for. A death at his hands should be enough conduct to enforce a suspension. The district and the school needs to show some sort of remorse for their negligence and act accordingly. But there must be some more facts present, 57 kids in a class, and not one of the 56 noticed a student go under? I dont know the depth of the pool, but it is not hard to see a human being at the bottom, especially when everyone is out. One last survey at the end of class could have prevented this. Becker could have been on his phone to check the time, or as he was stop watching the water treading, we need to know how long he was on the phone, was he facing the class, could he see Ben. We also need statements from the other classmates about Ben's swimming. Was he not a good swimmer, could they see this happening based on previous classes. This was May, so they must have seen signs of Ben's stamina in other PE activities. All these are facts that can lead to less or more negligence on the part of the Teacher. Its an unfortunate situation, but there are definitely more answers that can help clear some culpability. The school and district must enforce new rules so that this never ever happens again, and the Curry's need to be compensated for their loss. The school and football team needs to dedicated all its profits and have fund raisers for the Currys period.


75 people like this
Posted by Alum
a resident of Danville
on Dec 4, 2018 at 3:36 pm

I played football at SRVHS and beyond. Lets not bash the team or program just because of Becker. I can guarantee Becker's not exactly the most popular guy on that team. With that said, our coach and PE teacher at my time would have lied down in traffic for any kid at the school. No matter if they played a sport or not. Becker gives a bad name to sports, teachers, SRV High School and many other good people. It's sickening.

It's too late for Becker or some board members to gracefully leave. Now it's time for ugly court battles and hopefully the loss of many livelihoods. People that shouldn't be teaching or managing a newspaper stand. Let alone a school district. I'm praying for the Curry family.


53 people like this
Posted by Parent SRV High
a resident of Danville
on Dec 5, 2018 at 6:12 am

RajSingh,
Fit excellent swimmers drown that is why the Olympics has life guards. The solution for drowning is life guards. In the early 1900s 4000 people a year drowned today around 3,500 with a population going for 76 to 326 million in the USA. The main reason is life guards they rescue approx. 1 million people a year.

The school would like to blame the victim but anyone can have a problem in the water even Olympic swimmers.


58 people like this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Dec 5, 2018 at 6:23 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

@Parent SRV High - very true. Whether Ben had the swimming ability of Michael Phelps or was a beginner, it was Becker’s/SRVHS/ the district ‘s duty to keep him safe while he was participating in a school sponsored activity.


49 people like this
Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Del Amigo Continuation High School
on Dec 5, 2018 at 2:54 pm

Those of you unhappy with SRV should maybe consider sending your students to Del Amigo instead. It is a small campus, with attentive, caring, brilliant teachers who treat all students with compassion and support them through school. It is not the drug-fueled, bad kid school that it is perceived as. The other high school build that reputation trying to keep the kids in their schools. Trust me, kid thrive at Del Amigo and those are the most compassionate teachers you will ever find.


50 people like this
Posted by SRV Parent
a resident of Danville
on Dec 7, 2018 at 6:13 am

"Trial begins for assistant swim coach accused of ignoring a child while she drowned "

Aaron Becker is more negligent than a coach who is on trial in Texas. Difference is the coach in Texas was not the varsity football coach.
Web Link



49 people like this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Dec 7, 2018 at 7:58 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

With the trial of the coach in Texas preceding the Curry trial, it may give attorney Schwartz additional recent case law to be used at trial. Does anyone know the name of the attorney the district is using ? Or the name of their insurance carrier?


68 people like this
Posted by Tim
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2018 at 11:25 am

SRV Parent,
After reading the article about the drowning in Texas. I realize that Aaron Becker should count his blessings that Ben's family is not pressing for criminal charges. The negligence of Aaron Becker far exceeds the level of negligence of the coach in Texas. The coach in Texas did not walk away from a pool with a drowning kid in it.

SRVUSD act now to fire Aaron Becker. His behavior was "abandonment and endangering of a child by criminal negligence". This is a direct quote from the article of the criminal charges facing the coach in Texas.


59 people like this
Posted by SRV Parent
a resident of Danville
on Dec 8, 2018 at 8:08 am

The swim coach in Texas was found guilty.

"A Tarrant County jury convicted Tracey Anne Boyd, 51, on Friday of abandoning or endangering a child through criminal negligence and sentenced her to three years of probation. She had faced up to two years in state jail."

Good luck Aaron Becker in a civil case but be aware with the deep dive of the facts by Curry's lawyer it could expose a criminal case.


2 people like this
Posted by grateful4
a resident of Danville
on Dec 10, 2018 at 8:01 am

grateful4 is a registered user.

Becker's football team just won the NCS Championship... This will muddy the already murky waters...


111 people like this
Posted by Tim
a resident of another community
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:32 pm

What Aaron Becker did is a crime in Texas. But in Danville California he earns the right to lead a team of young men to the NCS Championship. Shame on you Danville California. Your morals are bankrupt with the continuing sanctioning of "abandonment and endangering of a child by criminal negligence".

To the players of the team welcome to the ranks of the pawns in a power trip by Aaron Becker and SRVUSD. You can now be proud that you are active participants in the ongoing abuse of Ben Curry's family. When your leader (Aaron Becker) is of low moral character and you do not raise your voice you are also of low moral character.


1 person likes this
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 7:55 am

Pipe down Tim. Blaming kids who work hard and have NO choice who their coach is or the many outraged citizens of Danville? Gimme a break.


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Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 8:14 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

I think the concern, David, is the children on the football team and in Becker’s PE classes see him as a role model. At school, teachers and coaches are the role models for our children. The fear is because nothing has yet been done to Becker, it shows our children a person can get away with wrongdoing if they are “important enough “ ie the coach of a winning footballl team. There is no blame being placed on his players.


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Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 8:34 am

mrszalewski2,
My response was in regards to 'Tim's' comment below:

"To the players of the team welcome to the ranks of the pawns in a power trip by Aaron Becker and SRVUSD. You can now be proud that you are active participants in the ongoing abuse of Ben Curry's family."

Unless I'm reading this comment incorrectly, he's clearly folding the kids / players into Beckers horrific behavior and actions. Lets not play games with words and innuendos.


1 person likes this
Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 9:07 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

David, I am the last person to play games with words and innuendos. I knew something was rotten in Denmark when my then SRVHS student told me Ben had taken Xanax to purposely drown himself because of bullying. My son also told me that SRVHS held almost daily assemblies to tell the students to reach out if they are feeling suicidal. I knew Danville has the mentality of sweeping everything under the rug for fear of ruining the town’s reputation. When I learned the truth about what really occurred with Ben and the relationship between SRVHS and the Danville PD, I was truly sickened. I have been behind the Curry family 100 percent since this tragedy occurred. I donated heavily to the Go Fund Me page set up for them, have shared the petition to terminate Aaron Becker, have not donated another penny to SRVHS, and have boycotted any establishment that supports SRVHS. You are correct in that the football players are Becker’s pawns through no fault of their own.


2 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 9:12 am

mrszalewski2,
I couldn't agree more with your outrage. I have kids in SRVSD and as a SRV Alum I couldn't be more sickened by the behavior of Becker and Co.

But my comment was specifically regarding folding the kids / players as 'active participants' in abusing the Curry's. Sorry but that statement is not correct or appropriate. Leave the innocent kids / now deemed 'Pawns' in your eyes out of this mess!


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Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 9:28 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

David, please enlighten me. What do you think the football players should have done?


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Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 2:54 pm

mrszalewski2,
Not trying to enlighten you. Saying NOT to blame football players, kids in the PE class or any other innocents for Beckers failure as a teacher. The football kids are NOT 'Pawns'as you labelled them. They're KIDS who have no say in who their coach is or who their PE teacher is. Leave them alone.


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Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 3:03 pm

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

David, I never blamed the kids in Becker ‘s PE class or the football team as my son was in both activities. You have misunderstood/ misread what I was saying. I solely blame Becker/SRVHS/the district/ the Danville PD. Never the kids.


90 people like this
Posted by SRV Parent
a resident of Danville
on Dec 11, 2018 at 5:18 pm

David,
I do not agree with all of Tim post ("active participants in the ongoing abuse") but I do agree with the usage of the word "pawns".

The football players are pawns which is a person used by others for their own purposes. Aaron Becker is using the players for is own purposes. Their rightful title will always be stained by his name. He is very self centered and did not even consider the impact of his name being connected to SRV football. There are many role model coaches that once surrounded by scandal stepped down for the good of the team. With the players seeing how a man deals with being accountable.

Becker knows that he was looking at a cell phone while Ben was drowning. Just ask him if he was looking at his phone. I know he was not "texting or calling" because that is what Becker's lawyer denied. It takes a lawyer to weasel a reply that does not address the claim by Curry's lawyer that Aaron Becker was looking at his phone while Ben was drowning.


108 people like this
Posted by Tony
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 12, 2018 at 10:09 am

I never thought a teacher who is responsible for the causing a death would not be fired. But it seems Danville is proving me wrong. What is giving Aaron Becker a pass on being responsible for causing the death Ben Curry? I understand that Ben was following the direction of Aaron Becker to not hang on. Then Aaron Becker walked away from the pool as Ben was drowning. Does Aaron have some magic excuse that I am not aware of. This is not an accident it is a sick man that created an exercise with rules that were fatal.


101 people like this
Posted by A Good Coach
a resident of Walnut Creek
on Dec 14, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Aaron Becker violated the following rule in the National Federation of State High School Associations rule book.
"Coaches Code of Ethics".
"The coach shall uphold the honor and dignity of the profession. In all personal contact with students, officials, athletic directors, school administrators, the state high school athletic association, the media, and the public, the coach shall strive to set an example of the highest ethical and moral conduct"

Aaron failed a responsibility to Ben Curry which resulted in Ben Curry's death. This does not meet the definition of “an example of the highest ethical and moral conduct”. Aaron Becker actions and his continued coaching and not accepting any accountable shows a failure to put the student first. CIF requires self reporting which SRV High and Aaron Becker also failed to do.

Aaron has blackened the honor of all coaches. By his action that resulted in the death of Ben Curry and on his failure to step down as a head coach of the varsity SRV High football team after the truth was revealed.


96 people like this
Posted by Carl
a resident of Danville
on Dec 14, 2018 at 8:54 pm

SRVUSD does what ever it wants to do they are above all rules of conduct. CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) should take action because both the school and Aaron Becker signed documents to abide by the rules of the CIF. SRVUSD needs to remove Aaron Becker as the football coach or they are in violation of their duty to enforce the CIF rules. CIF should kick SRV High out of CIF if they do not enforce the rules.

We know the media headlines do not protect a positive image on the coaching profession. From a paper in the UK
"DROWNING HORROR Schoolboy, 15, drowned in swimming lesson ‘while teacher stared at his phone"


80 people like this
Posted by grateful4
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Dec 26, 2018 at 9:08 am

Wait,...what?

My son, a Sophomore @SRV like Ben would've been this year, didn't tell me about the suicide prevention assemblies. My son was processing the reality that Ben's seat in the classes they shared remained empty each day and that the two could no longer goof together throughout their school day.

This is the first I am hearing of these alleged daily assembling activities. I couldn't understand why, in the face of facts revealed in the days/weeks following the tragedy, my son earnestly resisted the reality that the drowning was a tragic, yet negligent, accident. I am disgusted that SRVHS went to these lengths to veil the truth from students. This is Brainwashing 101.

I grew up here. I returned here to build my family. I have lived in this town for decades and, while I have always known it to claim a Norman Rockwell reputation, I've also known that the "small town charm" is an illusion to cover for the distinction between reality and "the bubble". It seems I've mistakenly believed that being acutely aware of this distinction would be enough to navigate my kiddos through the superficiality.

Our beloved community institutions, SRVUSD (great schools!) and DPD (safe Town!), abandoned the Currry's when they blamed them for Ben's death while leading the school community to believe he committed suicide. My son (our children!) was manipulated by SRVUSD. They were lying to him daily through suicide prevention education?This is atrocious. By creating distractions, sending mixed messages, and causing confusion the very people who say they're invested in our kids are actually preying on them for their beloved reputation. I feel suckered and sickened.

Justice for Ben Curry so that his death is not in vain. May his legacy be one that illuminates truth and community authenticity.


58 people like this
Posted by Danville Mom
a resident of Danville
on Jan 7, 2019 at 4:11 pm

When my child was a student at MVHS, I was told that the head football coach "ruled the school." I was told this by 2 guidance counselors who were aware that the football program was golden, untouchable, and tinged with injustice, ego, and ruthlessness. The guidance counselors told me that it is the same at SRVHS. Prophetic?


50 people like this
Posted by Appalled
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:04 am

Talking to many parents in the community I realize they are outraged with this incident but too afraid to speak up. They are in fear the athletic director or coaches will take it out on their kid. It is sad and at the end of the day we as people need to do what is right. Ben should be here today enjoying his Sophomore year. The only reason he is not here is that Aaron Becker decided to take his football mentality into his pe class. Becker should have had all eyes on the pool and checked the perimeter before leaving class. Becker is the football coach and that is all SRVHS cares about. Clearly. I see a pathetic small group with no backbone who are in support of having Becker in that campus. How could a teacher return to work after failing at his most basic duty? A normal person would need to process the pain they have caused and take a leave of absence immediately. The admin not putting him on leave tells you everything you need to know. The principal is a big football guy so there you have where his priorities are. Unfortunately, when kids see Becker it is constant reminder of Ben’s tragic death. Just ask yourself what if this was your son? Would you want Becker around as a daily reminder. It is very painful and we are not going to just sweep this under the rug. Kids who witnessed this and are friends of Ben’s have parents paying out a ton of money for grief counseling. San Ramon High handled this so horribly.


24 people like this
Posted by Mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:16 am

@appalled.... I couldn’t agree more. I must add that the parents who are paying for grief counseling for their children need to submit a claim to the school district. If they balk, speak to the Curry’s attorney about adding the suffering of the other students onto the claim. No one except those responsible should have to bear the costly burden of grief counseling. And, I would not allow my child to receive grief counseling from SRVHS. We all know where their loyalties lie.


8 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:37 am

Ben's family had donations from their work and friends create a fund to help pay for for grief counseling for Ben's friends or anyone that needs help. The fund is managed by Community Presbyterian Church in Danville. Get in contact with CPC for details. This is a tragic event that needs the truth revealed. SRVUSD is showing that they protect themselves at the expense of our children.


6 people like this
Posted by Mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:49 am

@Parent...thank you for clarifying about the fund. I donated to the Go Fund Me for the Curry Family but I thought those funds were to cover funeral expenses, etc. I didn’t realize the fund covered grief counseling for the survivors.


8 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Jan 10, 2019 at 11:56 am

Two separate funds with different purposes. The Ben's family wanted to insure that Ben's friends could seek the help they needed.


27 people like this
Posted by Grandma and teacher
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Thank you appalled. We see people focused only on themselves and their own needs every day. Still, I want to thank and commend the many wonderful and caring parents, kids and teachers in this community. I know many of you. You make a difference every day. Still, to the adults, including teachers and other staff, who choose to remain silent and hope this will all be forgotten, you are missing the point. We need to lead by example and show how to stand up for what is right and good. In the long run, your child and others will benefit far more from your teaching and the way you live your life. We all share that responsibility. Don’t look away.


24 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 12:24 pm

I love that this conversation is still going on. I hope people stay strong and fight for the right thing. Let’s not forget what happened to Ben and his family.


20 people like this
Posted by Mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 12:34 pm

This is a tragedy that should never ever be forgotten. We owe that much to Ben, his family, and friends. Secondarily, it should raise awareness of parents to ask about student/teacher ratios. If the ratio doesn’t seem safe, refuse to let your child participate in said activity irregardless if it is mandatory. It is more than obvious now that the teacher, school, and district isn’t going to look after your child’s safety and well being.


51 people like this
Posted by Grandparent Kj
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 2:42 pm

I agree this is a tragedy that should never be forgotten. The Curry family needs everyone’s support. It’s unbelievable that students are still having to deal with seeing Becker on campus everyday.
As a community we must hold the school district responsible. The leader of the district Rick Schmitt needs to be terminated. He had his chance to be a leader and has failed beyond belief. Schmitt needs to be told this is not a monetary issue. The issue is a matter of competence and compassion. I give him an F.
It is unconscionable that no action has been taken against those who allowed this tragedy to happy. I can’t wait for the Curry’s attorney to depose and expose Schmitt and Becker.


11 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 4:08 pm

I think that everyone forgets that the School Board was warned and THEY did NOTHING to prevent it. Also, Schmitt report to our BOE, and they are our elected officials, which we have the power to replace. They should step down for allowing this to happen.


9 people like this
Posted by SRV Parent
a resident of Danville
on Jan 10, 2019 at 6:02 pm

Parent,
Some details of the school board meeting:
Mr Matthew a PE teacher Cal High went before the board Nov 2017 and warned that a student would drown because PE class size was to large. This was a class with a teacher and a life guard with 47 students. Ben did not have a chance with 57 students no life guard and PE teacher looking at his cell phone.

BOE you each need to explain to Ben's family why you did not take action when Mr Matthew informed you that a child would drown. Mr Matthew prepared the BOE with a statement that he would have to say to the parents of a drowned student "your child died because it was a financial decision".


11 people like this
Posted by Appalled
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 10, 2019 at 7:21 pm

A death of a child is tragic and there is an added element to this tragedy. A child is dead because of a teachers negligence. I agree the BOE should have put an immediate hold on swim after they were made aware of the unsafe circumstances by Mr. Mathews from Cal High. Rick Schmitt should have done something right then and there. Who in their right mlnd would have not questioned safety and demanded instant change. However, Becker not checking the perimeter upon leaving class and ignoring Ben’s cell phone , towel and shoes on the bench is baffling. As hard and painful as it is we have to be thankful for the surveillance video. I believe there we be justice for Ben who’s life was taken too soon. Ben could have been any of our kids. SRVUSD what are you doing? Pe class sizes are huge. They cannot assure safety middle school classes are overwhelming and too big . Are we just playing and see whT happens again? I am huge advocate for teachers and Rick Schmitt is not for our teachers. He’s turned the district upside down. He could have stopped this tragedy from happening if he only would have listened to Mr. Mathews and demanded no further swimming until lifeguards are on duty. This district wastes funds left and right.


74 people like this
Posted by Parent
a resident of Danville
on Jan 11, 2019 at 4:49 pm

I just found out that Arron Becker is going to be the Site Director Head Football Coach with Next Level flag football this year. I must say when I read the email I was in shock. How is it possible that a man who has cause death of a student is now being involved with another youth program in our area? What are people thinking? How is this ok? I get that this where he works, but there must be others who can take on that position. This is very sad, disappointing, and not sure how Next Level thinks it’s appropriate.


76 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Danville
on Jan 11, 2019 at 8:06 pm

That is sick. Plan to post on Yelp a review for next level. That will spell out how Aaron is in contradiction to their mission statement.


33 people like this
Posted by Concered
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2019 at 11:54 am

See below the response to my review which pointed out that Aaron Becker the director of the Danville site was responsible for the drowning of Ben Curry on May 8th 2018. Also Yelp pulled my review of Next level.

So a good guy can be responsible for the death of a child. No organization I want my kid around. In the response Patrick acknowledge the fact the Aaron Becker was responsible for the drowning. "Yes"

"Patrick W.
Owner


Yes! This happened a long time ago. He is still there and as a teacher and coach. That's my stance. He coaches this year and won ncs. People love him.

Coach Patrick Walsh
Next Level Sports
Head Football Coach
Serra High School
San Mateo, CA "


31 people like this
Posted by Danville
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2019 at 12:47 pm

Wow, that was the response Concered you got? Yes, this happened along time ago - it hadn’t been even a year. People love him - what. He won NCS - I guess that’s all we care about. It’s a total I don’t give a s.... response.


38 people like this
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Danville
on Feb 2, 2019 at 1:09 pm

With the total disregard of the SRV football mission statement why would Next Level set any example.

This is SRV High football mission statement.

"In doing this our program will be rooted in the core values of accountability, discipline, hard work, humility, and respect"

Accountability: Aaron Becker has yet to acknowledge his responsibility in Ben Curry's death.

Discipline: Aaron Becker ignored all of his life guard training.

Hard Work: Aaron Becker was looking at his cell phone while directing 57 kids in a fatal exercise.

Humility: Aaron treated that entire PE class as a burden that was getting in his way of going to lunch.

Respect: Aaron did not respect Ben's right to grow older.





36 people like this
Posted by Realist
a resident of Blackhawk
on Feb 2, 2019 at 9:42 pm

Patrick Walsh at next level sounds like he’s missing the empathy and compassion gene like Becker. What is wrong these men? Have a heart. Parents Should be warned of sociopaths running a program for kids. Frightening.


Like this comment
Posted by Sarah Windsor
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2019 at 6:23 pm

Just wondering how a teenager living 20 miles away with his parents can attend public school in Danville. The only connection they have is that one of the parents works for a company here. We had to provide so much paperwork to the schools when we moved here to verify we were Danville residents.


Like this comment
Posted by Sarah Windsor
a resident of Danville
on Feb 7, 2019 at 6:27 pm

Sorry I’m new to the site and posted my other message in the wrong category. Apologies


21 people like this
Posted by bb
a resident of Danville
on Feb 10, 2019 at 9:58 pm

bb is a registered user.

Concerned-the reply from Next Level is unacceptable-his twitter is @coachwalsh20, maybe share his response on twitter?


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