NEWS

Jeremiah Perry, 15, Failed Swim Test Before Drowning On Toronto School Trip

Of the 32 students on the trip, only 15 passed the test.

08/16/2017 16:50 EDT | Updated 08/16/2017 16:50 EDT
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

TORONTO — A Toronto teen who drowned on a school-run camping trip this summer had not passed a required swimming test, the Toronto District School Board said Wednesday.

John Malloy, the board's director of education, said Jeremiah Perry was among 15 students who failed the mandatory test for the multi-day trip to Algonquin Park in July.

Perry, a 15-year-old student at C.W. Jeffreys Collegiate Institute, was swimming in a lake when he disappeared under the water and did not resurface. His body was found by search and rescue crews a day later.

Of the 32 students on the trip, only 15 passed the swim test, and two had no documentation for the test at all, the TDSB said.

"I'm deeply troubled by these findings, that such a critical safety requirement in our procedures appears not to have been followed," Malloy said.

"On behalf of the TDSB, I offer our most sincere apology and regret. I also want to apologize to the families of the other students who went on the trip, even though they did not pass the swim test."

"I know that Jeremiah's family wants us to take steps to ensure that this will never happen again."John Malloy, TDSB director of education

Malloy said TDSB students are supposed to take a second swim test if they fail the first one, but he said a second test was never provided or offered to Perry and the other students who failed.

Two teachers who were on the trip have been placed on home assignment as a result of the incident, Malloy said.

"I know that Jeremiah's family wants us to take steps to ensure that this will never happen again," he said, noting that new procedures have already been put in place.

Parents will now be notified whether their child passed or failed a mandatory swim test before a trip, and school principals are required to see a list of students who passed or failed a swim test before a trip.

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Malloy provided the information Wednesday as part of an ongoing internal investigation at the TDSB that was launched after Perry's death.

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