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Curry lawsuit: Teacher seeks dismissal of punitive damages

Original post made on Oct 15, 2019

Documents filed earlier this month seal pool surveillance video from public and provide first statement made by Aaron Becker, the San Ramon Valley High teacher on duty when Ben Curry died during PE class last year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, October 14, 2019, 8:59 PM

Comments (47)

Posted by Beth
a resident of Monte Vista High School
on Oct 15, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Having a Swim Section in 9th grade PE (a required course for most 9th graders) is a choice made by the teacher. It is NOT a requirement and there are many other options to choose from.

Allowing a Swim Section with only ONE teacher supervising 57 students shows poor judgement by the teacher, the high school administration and the school district, It is difficult enough to oversee a PE class on land with that many students (I’ve done this as a substitute teacher and it is challenging, to say the least). (It is my understanding the school district is only allowing these swim sections now, after Ben Curry’s tragic death, with a certified lifeguard on duty - a district decision made too late to save this young man and his suffering family.)

Besides the obvious need for a lifeguard requirement, there should have always at least been in place a count. Counting how many students were going into the water and counting how many students were coming out of the water. Or another additional preventative measure could have been a system where each student had a “buddy” to ensure all were accounted for at certain times during, and before and after the class. Were any of these or other safety measures in place? How did the teacher think he could be looking at his phone for timing and be keeping a watch over 57 students at the same time? FIFTY SEVEN! I’m wondering if this teacher believed/believes he is a person with superhuman abilities, like the fictional character Superman.

This could have been my child. I’m appalled, to say the least, at the teacher, school and district’s decision in allowing this Swim Section to have even occurred in the first place without proper preventative measures (lifeguards, smaller class sizes, etc.). Not to mention the fact that 9th grade is one of the most difficult transitional times for a teen; having to change into a swimsuit and do so in front of your classmates, get your hair wet for the day, is humiliating for many in 9th grade. For what purpose? Why was Swim Section even an option in 9th grade PE??? The 9th grade Swim Section should be banned from the school district altogether. (And I love swimming and grew up in the water.)

I hope the video is made public. Technology can blur other students’ faces if this is the issue. This teacher should be on leave until this civil case is concluded. There also should have been a stronger criminal case. The article doesn’t summarize what happened with the outcome of that. But in our football-loving culture, the fact that Aaron Becker is the Head Varsity Football Coach is likely more important and impactful on this current civil case and the criminal case that I believe is now nonexistent than the safety of our students.

Posted by JW
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 15, 2019 at 3:56 pm

Why don't SRVHS parents urge their children to conduct a walk-out until this criminal is fired? That approach seems to get people's attention.

Posted by ParentoftheSRVUSD
a resident of Danville
on Oct 16, 2019 at 12:23 am

Even better, as the prior person commenting suggested kids walkout, what's holding ALL of us PARENTS from WALKING IN to the school board meeting and demanding change? The are not able to protect our kids- WE have to. That's become apparent.

Posted by RogerT
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 16, 2019 at 12:32 am

How on earth did this school board not place this teacher on leave? Who are these people? How are the able to hold office if they can't step in and do the right thing when a child dies under the care of a teacher?

Greg Marvel, Vice President has his term up in 2020.
Mark Jewett, Clerk has a term up in 2020.

Who's running? Let's start early. We will need to with the gerrymandering these 5 did for the election. Enough. District management needs to go too. Maybe then our SUP will be surrounded with people that will help represent what the people really care about instead of trying to shut things down before he even knows.

There is a great Facebook page called Parents of the SRVUSD that helps parents stay informed and will help parents get organized.

Posted by ParentSRV
a resident of Danville
on Oct 16, 2019 at 6:30 am

Fire every administrator that was present at board meeting when a teacher in Nov 2017 said a student was going to drown because of large PE swim classes. Elect new board members that place our children before Varsity football coaches. The only fact I need to know is that Aaron Becker walked away while a child was drowning. Grow up Aaron Becker accept accountability you let a child die under your direction.
Yes the Curry's should get punitive damages. Arron Becker's conduct was "despicable" as a judge wrote in denial of previous motion to strike punitive damages. Are tax dollars are being used to insure that the video never sees the light of day. The current administration and board members make me ill with the total lack or accountability for the death of a student. Not a single new pool policy to insure that a teacher will never be allowed to walk away from a drowning student. Read the current swim policy it only applies to field trips with 1:10 adult to student ratio and life guards. How does a ratio of 1:57 and no life guards protect our children.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm

So well said, @ ParentSRV . This speaks volumes about our School District and this community.

Posted by Grandparent
a resident of Danville
on Oct 16, 2019 at 4:06 pm

It’s amazing that Becker is still employed by the district. A student walk out may be a challenge but I would encourage every parent with a child who has Becker for a teacher to demand their child be moved out of his class. I’d worry every day if my child was under his watch. The fact he’s still allowed to coach is beyond comprehension
The district is led by spineless Rick Schmitt who needs to be fired with Becker. His lack of leadership is really scary.
I still hope after the civil trial that the grand jury will investigate and bring charges against Becker, Schmitt and the SRVUSD.
I pray every day for the strength of Curry family to continue the fight for justice for Ben.

Posted by Lee
a resident of Danville
on Oct 16, 2019 at 4:08 pm

I agree with every sentiment above, and there are two more details that make this even worse. The first, which I was completely unaware of, concerns the very first sentence of the post above mine by "ParentSRV". Second, five months before Ben lost his life, there was a very near-drowning at Cal High, with a resuscitation at the last possible moment, made possible by the presence of two teachers/lifeguards rather than one. And this school board learned NOTHING from that episode. Rick Schmitt and his entire of cadre of useless boards members should do the decent thing and resign. They should have done it long ago.

Posted by SouthpawLaw
a resident of Danville
on Oct 16, 2019 at 5:13 pm

This says so much about the lack of leadership at the district level. Their strategy is that they simply hope people forget about the many issues and illegal activity burdening this district, get tired or move on. This community isn’t going to forget how these board trustees, administrators and superintendent were warned prior to this happening. I hope they show the school board meeting where a Cal High teacher was in tears pleading with them over the near loss of a student and class size prior to Curry’s death. After the district gets sued, the state needs to step in and clean this district up with us Grandparents and parents leading the way. These people are not fit to be in the positions they hold. To Curry’s family and friends, your community is with YOU. Go get them.

Posted by Concerned
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 16, 2019 at 10:00 pm

That day in May changed my children's lives forever. My heart hurts for all those involved, especially for the Curry family who lost their son. When the video showed that Ben went under when the class was still in session my child experienced extreme survivors guilt....she too was in the pool. Nightmares of grabbing to save Ben are a regular occurrence. Not being to be by the pool or the pool parking is the norm. Everyone involved is living a different life then they lived on May 7th and I pray that people who are living their lives the same because they were not changed by that day will show compassion for all involved. Understand that there are children who were in the pool and lost their friend. There is absolutely NO reason for the video to be released except to satisfy some sick need for people, people who were not involved, to see what happened so they think they can point blame on someone...anyone. The people that need to see the video will see it.
A released video, a walk out or even a lawsuit will not change the outcome of that about we put energy into changing the things we can, like the swim requirements, class sizes and yes, the school board!

Posted by Parent of former SRVHS students
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 17, 2019 at 8:53 am

There are multiple people who should be held responsible.
That includes the teacher, the Principal and goes all the way to the top, which is the Superintendent Rick Schmitt. The buck stops there.
Guidelines should have been in place to avoid this tragedy.
Rick Schmitt should be removed from his position and someone more competent should replace him.

Posted by danvilledad
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:06 am

These poor parents and friends/students of SRVHS and teachers. Losing a child...I just can't imagine. Having a district not act and at the very least place the teacher in question on leave-- and have the police be buddy-buddy with too many "friends of friends" is also a tragedy.

This sentence was made a year ago. You just have to google it. "A former substitute teacher was sentenced to two years probation Wednesday in the 2013 death of a student who drowned during a swimming class in the pool at a Macomb County high school.

Johnathan Sails, 28, of Detroit also was sentenced by Macomb Circuit Court Judge James Maceroni to one day in the county jail, with credit for a day served, 60 hours of community service and fees.

Sails was charged in the Nov. 8, 2013 death of KeAir Swift, 14, of Detroit, who was at the bottom of the deep end of the East Detroit High School pool. The school is now known as Eastpointe High School."

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:18 am

Concerned: thank you for pointing out another side of the story. I think of those children who were in the pool more than anything else when this subject comes up. Praying for everyone!

Posted by TimeForChange
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2019 at 2:12 pm

How much more of this bs should we all take? Children dying from negligent adults who are not held accountable? Cover-ups by the school, district, and police? If you are really sick of the "deep state" of Danville - the 30 year council members, the police department buddies, and the cronies at the school district (yes, including the varsity football coach/murderer, whose dad was also the varsity football coach), then take action. Friends of the Council and special favors needs to stop, and Danville residents need to take back their town. Time for change.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 17, 2019 at 7:21 pm

Just curious...Doesn’t Chief Shields of Danville PD have kids at SRV and do they play football? Becker is the Football Coach. The lies, the cover ups and the botched investigation. The school and the district covering their asses and trying to lead a community to believe something different. This is all so sick and twisted and will surely end up on Dateline or 48 hours. This has affected so many in our community , these kids have ptsd from being in the pool and what about the entire class that came out with a different teacher the next period and had to witness Ben’s lifeless body pulled from the water. Over an hour later. Talk about trauma. Nothing has been done to help these kids. Parents are left dealing with their teens anxiety and fear after losing their friend on campus on a teachers watch. How Becker wants to remain on campus after all the hurt he’s caused is baffling about his character as a human being. This community putting up with this is frightening.

Posted by ParentSRV
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2019 at 8:10 pm

Do not forget Assistant Superintendent Keith Rogenski: "The district, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Keith Rogenski and Special Education Coordinator Kai Montgomery were all named in an April civil suit that alleges Allen-Caulboy slapped, pinched and verbally abused three autistic students, and school officials failed to quickly report the accusations to police as the law requires." "Not only did the school fail to report the allegations to the police or child protective services, they asked a parent not to call police when she called the school with her concerns in December 2012. "Two weeks after her autistic son came home with bruises on his neck and face, allegedly at the hands of his teacher, a frustrated Michele Smith complained to Antioch's top two special education administrators." "She says she received a stunning response: They asked her not to call police". "'They just wanted to sweep it under the carpet,' Smith said in an interview.""

SRVUSD selected a man with a history of "sweep it under the carpet". In the Arron Becker case and his previous brush with the law he sprang to the defense of the teacher and denied all accusations of wrong doing of the teacher to the point of asking the parents to not inform the police. The teacher's union did not even get involved Rogenski came to Beckers aid and said Aaron did nothing wrong. Doesn't that sound just like his previous lawsuit where the teacher was found guilty of child abuse. Rogenski behavior of not reporting the claims of child abuse to the police helped to push the settlement to 8 million dollars. The behavior of SRVUSD is a mirror image with a denial of any wrong do and protect the teacher at all cost. Very clear that SRVUSD hired a man with a history and did not learn from his history so they are bound to repeat it by defending a guilty teacher at the expense of our children.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2019 at 8:12 pm

Mom: Thank you for pointing out another side of the story. I forget about the class that came after. How awful. Praying for everyone!

Posted by Ridiculous
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 17, 2019 at 9:04 pm

All I need to know is that a kid died while in school in the care of their teacher! What happened is not an accident. It is child neglect.

Posted by Concerned
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:25 pm

Mom - I agree that not enough has been done to support the kids who are suffering. What I don't agree with is the continued hate directed to Coach Becker. I have NO connection with him what so football and never had him as a teacher. What I do know is that he to has suffered from the events of that day, as has the teacher who pulled Ben out of the water. These teachers and students need out support rather then our anger and persecution.

Posted by JU
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2019 at 10:41 pm

Yes. Chief Shields has a kid in SRVHS. Unfortunately the police the police didn't even put on the report that Becker was on the phone, at the moment that Ben under water, and didn't even interview him right away. They had the video on the first day, and since day one they have been trying to hide the truth from everyone. Concerned, really? hate towards Becker? It is disgusting that we have to continue to see Becker at our school. He has no remorse, he simply didn't care that because of him a kid died. How would you feel if it was your son the one that passed away while on Becker's care. He is not traumatized, and if he is, he doesn't really show it. He showed up at school like nothing happened. H has never apologize. How can he teach anyone how to do the right thing. when he is still saying that he didn't have anything to do with Ben's death. Also, it is disgusting that the superintendent already knew about what happened at Cal High, if it was about money. why didn't he reduce his $450,000 or more per year and hire a life guard, so out kids would be safe.

Posted by ParentSRV
a resident of Danville
on Oct 17, 2019 at 11:57 pm

Concerned ,
The victims are Ben Curry and his family not Aaron Becker. A man that walks away from a child that he is entrusted with deserves no sympathy.

Aaron Becker made the decision to violate many of the rules which he learned in life guard training. Ben would be alive today if Aaron followed the life guard training he received. "Never turn your back to the pool" , "Ensure all swimmers are out of the pool". "NO ELECTRONIC DEVICES". "Scan the swimmers at all times". Even the most basic rule that teachers are taught which is if you move locations count the students would have given Ben a chance at living.

Aaron Becker total disregard for the lives of our children is captured in how he decided to punish the children "If you touch the ropes or sides I will add 30 seconds". He removed a common distress signal in competitive swimming. Good swim coaches remind all their swimmers that while training or competing "if something is going wrong grab the lane line you will not get in trouble we value your life more than winning". Aaron Becker valued punishing our kids above their life. I know that the Curry’s did not sign any document the gave Aaron Becker the right to use capital punishment. Yet Ben Curry died while doing a punishment that Aaron Becker thought was OK.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2019 at 7:30 am

Concerned: I agree that there is way too much hate in this world. Everyone has to try to be more understanding of the other side. I do not agree that this coach had any bad intention, but he was very neglectful in his job; and I do blame him for Ben’s death. If not for his actions, Ben would be alive! I do believe that most normal people would not be able to show their face at school after this situation. We have to remember everyone is different. Everyone is a child of God and we all have to forgive; but I am also all for consequences/punishments.

Posted by Mike
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2019 at 8:10 am

My heart breaks for all the victims of Aaron Becker and SRVUSD. But that list of victims does not include any SRV PE teachers that stepped onto a pool deck with 57-61 students no life guards and determined it was safe to proceed with class. They are adults with a responsibility to protect our kids yet they turned a blind eye to a dangerous situation.

The same PE teachers now have created declarations in support of Aaron Becker's behavior. So the problem is not just Aaron Becker it is the culture that exist at SRV High. SRV High change your culture are kids come first not behind money and Varsity football coaches or your jobs.

Parents of SRV high students visit the Contra Costa Court records and see which PE teachers are in support of Aaron Becker walking away from a drowning 15 year old boy.
Web Link

In case the site removes the link the teachers are "SHANNON NEACH, SAMANTHA LIBBY". How traumatized are they that they need to defend the man that inflicted such pain on our kids and the Curry family. Shannon and Libby have both gone on record to say Aaron Becker did nothing wrong. SRV High parents need to realize that our kids are in daily contact with PE teachers who will defend Aaron's actions which resulted in the death of a student.

Posted by LeadershipFail
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 18, 2019 at 8:28 am

Hey, Board Members! What does a teacher need to do to actually be fired? I mean a child dies under the watch of a teacher and you all take NO action against the teacher and initiate NO policy to this day. Now you've gotten us all into yet another lawsuit. You have a great track record-- or you're really uniformed. Stop warming those seats. Becker can make all the excuses he wants... what's yours though?

Posted by Mom
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 18, 2019 at 8:40 am

@concerned. What if this was your son or daughter that drowned on a teachers watch. Shocking how some in this community are lacking empathy and compassion. Lives were forever changed that day. My CONCERN is that Becker is still on campus as if nothing happened. This whole tragedy was handled so wrong. There needs to be some accountability here. It’s sociopathic behavior to just show up as if nothing happened. You should be concerned with the fact this district covers for teachers like Becker. Your child is just a number to them.

Posted by Shadow
a resident of Blackhawk
on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:04 am

I honestly thought that this community was mostly well educated. By the comments, I may need to rethink that idea. I do believe all are responsible, Becker, Schmitt, and the school board. But the most responsible party in this tragic event is Becker.

Did he do this on purpose? No. It's like a bus driver running a red light and a student is killed.

Why does he show up to work? Because he has bills and needs money for his family.

He has a side job as a football coach, it has nothing to do with the incident.

Calling him a murderer, really? Look up the definition of murderer.

"Release the video footage!" I'm pretty sure that is the courts decision.

The people posting comments need to "slow your roll" and wait for this to play out in court.

And before you all jump all over me, re-read the first paragraph I wrote.

Posted by Save our town from another disaster
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:22 am

If you are tired of people being in power for decades in Danville and allowing things like this to happen, you might consider doing something simple to fix it. There is a petition circulating which would put Term Limits on the November 2020 ballot for a public vote. Web Link

In November 2020, Danville residents may have an opportunity to implement term limits for Danville Town Council members. Currently, there are no term limits whatsoever. The combined incumbency of the current five council members is nearly 100 years. Arnerich alone has been in power for almost 30 years. That’s why things are so easily “swept under the rug” because no one in power for that long wants to lose such a huge span of control, especially when they have a budget of tens of millions and so many connections. I personally think that if a council member can’t accomplish what they want for this town in eight years, it’s time for others to have a chance. Nothing good comes of decade after decade of power, control of a nearly $100MM budget, and building a network of “insiders” vs “outsiders”.

While others have tried to run for council, who may have been much more qualified, the fact is that incumbents don’t lose. People who aren’t aware of what’s going on around them feel more comfortable voting for a familiar name. In Danville, NO INCUMBENT has ever lost. That doesn’t mean they are the best qualified for the job, it simply means that name recognition goes very far and that campaign contributions go towards current people in power. Thus, they have significant financial support for marketing, mailing glossy multi-page flyers, etc. A new candidate doesn’t have a chance.

As of today, there are no term limits. That’s why you see the same five people rotating year after year after year, and for some it’s almost 30 years. It could be another 30, which doesn’t sound very good to me. These same five people usually vote as a block and they also appoint the same commissioners year after year, making decisions about planning and zoning and recreation that are often tied to special interests (no term limits there either). Even the President of the United States is held to two, four-year terms, so why wouldn’t elected officials be held to the same standards in Danville?

They need 3,000 signatures just to get this on the ballot for public vote in 2020. If you want to sign the petition or help in any way, there’s a contact form on the website. The time to collect signatures is limited, so please contact the organizers today to get this on the ballot next year.
Web Link

Posted by Deb
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2019 at 1:03 pm

@shadow at the least , Becker should have been placed on leave during the investigation or on desk duty at the district. You sound insensitive in your post. This has shaken a whole community. Educated or not , people can still be nuts. There are a lot of people who have lost sight of what is important in this affluent community. You sound like one them.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 18, 2019 at 1:04 pm

@shadow at the least , Becker should have been placed on leave during the investigation or on desk duty at the district. You sound insensitive in your post. This has shaken a whole community. Educated or not , people can still be nuts. There are a lot of people who have lost sight of what is important in this affluent community. You sound like one them. Would you want to see the bus driver that ran over your friend everyday ? Think about your audience. That’s all I ask.

Posted by RetiredTeacher
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Shadow: As a retired teacher, let me educate you on this. At the end of the day as many kids that walked into your classroom should all walk out- alive. People are greatly touched by the loss of this students life- which was completely preventable. At the heart of this community is our children. It doesn’t matter who’s kid it is- they are all of our kids. People are passionate. They have a right to be. Our children are our most precious gifts.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 18, 2019 at 7:12 pm

Shadow: Are you saying that most of Danville is uneducated? Wow!

Save our town from another disaster: You should run, maybe I’ll vote for you.

Retired teacher: Amen!

Posted by Team Mom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 20, 2019 at 9:19 am

"He has a side job as a football coach, it has nothing to do with the incident" My guess is you don't have kids involved in sports. Aaron Becker brought a football practice approach to a coed 9th grade PE swim class. A threat of "30 more seconds if anyone touch the side or lane lines" is a group punishment. Group punishments are used by coaches to have teammates ridicule the less capable player into putting out more effort. The peer pressure that group punishment exert on the less capable player far exceeds what the coach can do without looking like a bully. The other players fall right into becoming the bully that the coach is not. With brutal comments directed at Johnny who is the reason they all had to run an extra lap. Johnny either puts in the effort or soon quits the team. In the end the coach gets the desired effect of a stronger team. But unlike a football field where an exhausted player can drop to his knees the swimming pool is deadly if you become exhausted while in the care of Aaron Becker.

No where in teacher training is it taught to punish the class for a student not performing to a standard. "Johnny didn't get above 60% on the test so everyone is to do extra homework tonight". Do you think Johnny is going to show up at school the next day?

Kids are not learning to enjoy physical activities because of PE teachers like Aaron Becker who brings a football coach approach into a PE class. No 15 year old boy wants to be the reason that everyone had do an addition 30 seconds. The fact it was a coed PE class am sure was also a factor that would cause a 15 year old freshman boy to push him self to exhaustion.

Having kids that played at all levels of sports I have witnessed many players collapsing after brutal practice drills. But I never take my eyes off that kid I see go down to insure he gets back up or the coach sees him.

To the Curry family I am sorry I wasn't at the pool watching out for your son because it is clear Aaron wasn't.

Posted by KellyGamble
a resident of San Ramon
on Oct 20, 2019 at 11:50 am

KellyGamble is a registered user.

I find it interesting that those commenting with such strong opinions use fake names. If you have something to say, especially on such an impactful issue, and you can attack and insult others for their opinions and actions, and attempt to incite walk outs and encourage defiant student behavior, and accuse political leaders of corruption...why are you hiding? If you are so righteous about your convictions and want your opinion to matter, and want to truly help this from ever happening again, hiding behind a pseudonym is not the way. It’s cowardly. Nothing gets accomplished without a real conversation with real people.

Posted by Team Mom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 20, 2019 at 12:28 pm

You have no idea what happens to your kids when you come out strong in protest of what is going on in our schools. I am an adult I can deal with angry adults but my kids are at the mercy of a school district and the coaches that decide who gets on the field or team. I have listened to coaches voicing concerns about parents in selecting players. So I seek to be anonymous to protect my kids. If you have a problem with my post please point out how it differs from your point of view. If you need my name to have a dialog then don't post to a form that allows anonymous posting. But don't call me names because of your notion of what a dialog is.

Posted by SpeakUpForKids
a resident of Danville
on Oct 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Amen, Team Mom! Some people don't understand what a wicked web some parts/people of this town are.

Posted by mrszalewski2
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2019 at 6:43 am

mrszalewski2 is a registered user.

Ben and the Curry family have been failed on so many levels. Failure of Aaron Becker to properly supervise a swim class; failure of SRVHS to provide a safe environment for swim class; failure of the District to heed warnings about the student /teacher ratios in swim class. This perfect storm allowed a student to die while participating in a class at school. Now Aaron Becker’s/ the school district’s attorneys are trying to bury relevant evidence of wrongdoing. I urge the community to continue to support the Curry family as they fight this latest legal battle on behalf of Ben. I feel for all the secondary victims who witnessed this tragedy: the children who were at school that day( my son being one of them). We still have our children to hug, hold , and support while they process their feelings. The Curry family doesn’t have Ben any longer. If you are concerned about the release of the video because of concerns over your child’s privacy, please contact the Curry’s attorney. With technology being what it is today, there are ways to protect your child’s identity and still allow the release of the tape for evidentiary purposes.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2019 at 10:12 pm

I would love to hear from the parents who have children on the varsity football team. Was it an easy choice to allow their children to be part of the team? Do they support this coach? Do they just want their children to play football? Do they believe this coach is a successful reliable teacher? Are there parents who would not allow their children to try out?

Posted by MG
a resident of Danville
on Oct 21, 2019 at 10:47 pm

Marie, I refuse to let my son play football because this coach has no moral, values, ethic or anything that could be valuable for my son. A person that is responsible for a kid's death and has never shown remorse should not be able to be around kids.

Posted by Marie
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2019 at 7:40 am

MG: Did your son try out and make the team, then decide not to play because of the coach? If so, I commend you as being a good parent and putting your child before sports. This could have been a very powerful statement if more parents did it!

Posted by MG
a resident of Danville
on Oct 22, 2019 at 8:24 am

Marie, kids don't have to tryout for football, but I won't let my son play or have anything to do with the team if Becker is the coach.

Posted by Carl
a resident of Danville
on Oct 29, 2019 at 7:35 am

This thing smells.
How does a teacher using a cell phone to time an exercise continue to look every couple seconds at his phone after starting it. Then when the time expires he puts the phone in his pocket then 3 seconds after putting the phone in his pocket ends the drill. Why if the drill was to last 3 minutes and then tack on and additional 30 seconds, did it last for 4 minutes. My hunch is that Aaron was doing something else with the phone. If you are so focused on the timer watching the seconds tick away do you not end the drill immediately after the time is reached.

If you are waiting for 3 minutes to go by and you have a pool full of kids why do you need to be watching the seconds tick by. Aaron's story is just a story and does not match the facts. The timeline in the article is from his lawyer. Aaron Becker's early response to be called out by Curry's lawyer for looking at the phone was "he was not texting or calling". Aaron Becker's lawyer did not mention anything about using it has a timer. The story took some time for Aaron to develop.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 30, 2019 at 6:26 pm

@carl exactly. Now we deal with the aftermath of this tragedy. What are we teaching our children. Ben’s life mattered!! Where is the outrage in this community? This has been devastating for all who knew Ben.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Alamo
on Oct 30, 2019 at 6:31 pm

@carl exactly. Now we deal with the aftermath of this tragedy. What are we teaching our children? Ben’s life mattered!! Where is the outrage in this community? This has been devastating for all who knew Ben. He grew up in this community and was a terrific kid with a bright future.

Posted by ParentSRV
a resident of Danville
on Nov 3, 2019 at 10:57 am

Ben's family is left to face the ultimate tragedy of losing a child for the rest of their lives. Please show support for the Curry family sign the petition.
Web Link

The previous varsity football coach was fired on the same day he made inappropriate remarks. SRVUSD came to Aaron's defense and continues to pull every legal trick to shield Aaron from accountability in the death of a child. If Aaron did nothing wrong why not let the public view the video of Aaron focused on his phone, walking away with out looking in the pool, and ignoring a single pile of clothes, shoes and cell phone left on the bleachers. Aaron's moral example for our children is that of child abandonment and neglect. Aaron's neglect resulted in Ben's death. SRVUSD is amoral in not holding a teacher accountable and to continue the legal opposition to transparency of what happened in our high school swimming pool.

Aaron's lawyer is from Sacramento. Must have been impossible to find a lawyer in the bay area that would defend a man that walks away from a drowning boy. Lawyers in the bay area must have higher morals than our school district.

Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Danville
on Nov 5, 2019 at 6:42 pm

Kelly Gamble:

I'm so sick of the "fake name" argument. There is NO guarantee that your name is Kelly Gamble. People use fictitious first and last names ALL the time. They're "pretending" to be authentic.

Unless you scan your CDL online, you're no more authentic than the rest of us. Even if you scan your CDL, it could be fake or a stolen ID.

Get over yourself.

Posted by Joe
a resident of Danville
on Nov 25, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Aaron Becker has now publicly admitted that he is not to be held responsible for a student drowning while under his supervision. This is the true character of Aaron Becker. Hopefully the Curry family will receive a record settlement from SRVUSD and Aaron Becker. As long as Aaron Becker remains employed and the head football coach at SRV High School there will forever be a black cloud hanging over the school and football program.

Posted by Mom
a resident of Alamo
on Nov 25, 2019 at 9:00 pm

@Joe it is gut wrenching to see how this was handled. I agree with everything you said. I am just wondering how these teens who witnessed this and are grieving their friend and classmate are going to be when they are older and realize so many adults stood back and did nothing. What are we teaching them. Ben was failed by Aaron Becker , RIck Schitt and the entire school board. My heart aches for the Curry’s they loved their son and were excellent parents. Where is the empathy in this community? What if this was your son or daughter that day ?

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