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Detroit board fires Mumford High teacher weeks after student dies in school pool

The Detroit school board fired a swim teacher at Mumford High Tuesday night, nearly a month after the death of a student who was found unresponsive in the school’s swimming pool.

The board voted unanimously to terminate the swim teacher for violating Michigan’s public pool safety guidelines and standards of ethical conduct. The board voted during its monthly meeting, and identified the teacher only by his initials.

The incident happened Feb. 24. A day later, officials with the Detroit school district announced the teacher had been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

“If the conclusion of the investigation reveals any wrongdoing then we will be sure to hold any and all personnel or students accountable,” Superintendent Nikolai Vitti and Iris Taylor, school board president, said at the time in a statement.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Christina Blanding told the board she wants answers regarding the death of her son, Da’Sean Blanding, who was 15.

“I am here today to get justice for my son,” Blanding said. She asked why there weren’t any cameras in the pool area. She said she’s yet to receive an answer from the district. 

Sonya Mays, the board’s treasurer, said the district is still focused on the investigation into Blanding’s death. 

“Getting to the bottom of that situation is the highest priority for this district and this board,” Mays said. “That tragedy has not been overlooked and will not be overlooked. We’re all very committed to delivering justice.”