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Superintendent’s Message - May 8th Student Drowning
Posted 11/2/18

Dear SRVUSD Parents and Staff,

 

As many of you know, Benjamin Curry drowned in the San Ramon Valley High School pool during his physical education class on May 8, 2018.  This event was and will remain a tragedy in our hearts and minds forever. The District sincerely apologizes to the Curry family and all community members.

 

Through this communication, the District wants to clarify rumors circulating in the community surrounding this tragic accident.  One rumor is that Benjamin caused or contributed to his death. More specifically, part of the rumor is that his death may have been a suicide.  Neither the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Report, nor the Danville Police investigation, indicated that Benjamin caused or contributed to his death.  The Coroner’s Office and Danville Police found Benjamin’s death was an accidental drowning. Another rumor claims that Benjamin drowned after reentering the pool following his 4th period physical education class.  A video of the pool on May 8th shows that Benjamin entered the pool in 4th period with his classmates and did not exit the pool with his classmates at the end of the period.

 

Immediately following the tragedy, the District discouraged staff, students and families from spreading inaccurate and hurtful rumors. The Curry family initially asked the District to respect the family’s privacy and not share Benjamin’s name. The District honored that request.  Further, the District felt it was inappropriate to comment on the circumstances of this tragic accident during an open police investigation. Despite pending litigation, the District wants to be responsive to the ongoing conversation and publicly apologize to the Curry family and all community members.

 

The District continues its internal review on policies and procedures related to SRVUSD pools. The District recognizes its responsibility to safeguard all students. Since the tragedy, the District has suspended the use of pools for all district physical education classes.  The District also instituted a requirement that every time District pools are in use, dedicated and certified lifeguards will be present.

 

There are no words to describe the collective sorrow following the loss of Ben.  Please know the District has been and will continue to be in contact with the Curry family attorney to address their legal claim.  By sharing the above information and offering our sincere apology, the District hopes to provide accurate information to support the Curry family and the community.

 

Sincerely,                               

 

Rick Schmitt

Superintendent

San Ramon Valley Unified School District