Teacher fired, principal gets probation in LI drowning

A 12-year-old girl has drowned during a class field trip to Long Beach, Long Island, where lifeguards were not on duty.

July 15, 2010 3:37:23 AM PDT
A teacher was fired and a principal put on probation after a 12-year-old student drowned off Long Island during a field trip.New York City student Nicole Suriel drowned last month at Long Beach. No lifeguards were on duty at the time of the incident.

The teacher in charge, Erin Bailey, was fired on Wednesday. Also, assistant principal Andrew Stillman was demoted to teacher status and principal Jose Maldonado-Rivera was placed on probation for two years.

A report released by the city schools investigator blames educators for poor planning at Columbia Secondary School.

Investigators also say the school failed to send out permission slips for the trip, and there was insufficient adult supervision.

At the last minute, the assistant principal decided not to go on the trip.

"He was going on the trip, and then he decided he had other things he had to do," said Richard Condon, special commissioner of investigation. "So they substituted a boyfriend of the teacher, who had been volunteering at the school, but who couldn't swim."

The Department of Education says school field trip regulations are under review.

Nicole was not a swimmer, and although investigators found the students were told to stay in shallow water, she and four others were deep enough to be pulled out to sea. The other students were rescued.

You can read more of the report by CLICKING HERE.