Grieving Detroit mom ties bullying to teen's Mumford drowning

March 10, 2020, 10:48 AM

A pool fatality at Detroit's Mumford High two weeks ago leaves a family mixing anger with grief. In addition, police may open a criminal case, The Detroit News reports: 

The mother of a 15-year-old Detroit teen found in the bottom of a high school swimming pool is alleging her learning-disabled son was bullied and beaten before he was forced into the water and while his teacher left the class unsupervised.

Detroit police on Monday said the death of Da’Sean Blanding, found in a Mumford High School pool on Feb. 24, could become a criminal investigation.

Christina Blanding, speaking to reporters at a Southfield law office (video below), blames her loss on students who she says repeatedly bullied special education students during swim class. 

"They were picking on special education kids. The teachers knew about it," Blanding said of the Mumford students. 

Da'Sean Blanding
July 6, 2004 
 Feb. 24, 2020
(Photo: Fox 2 News)

Detroit's public school district paid for the ninth-grader's funeral and the superintendent attended visitation at Hutchinson Funeral Home on East Seven Mile Road, according to a statement cited by The News.

DPSCD officials say the district will likely conclude its employee investigation regarding the teacher sometime this week and determine disciplinary action at that time. 

The paper also quotes family attorney Johnny L. Hawkins: "This environment was not proper for any student, let alone a person with certain limitations like Da'Sean."

The teacher remains on paid administrative leave, pending an investigative interview with the district, union officials said on Monday.

Blanding, who buried her son on Saturday, said she wants the teacher terminated and criminal charges to be considered against anyone involved.

On Monday, Detroit police Chief James Craig told The Detroit News his department is conducting what could be a criminal investigation into Da'Sean's death. "We’ve talked to a number of witnesses, and we’re exploring all avenues," Craig said. "Was this criminal or was this accidental? I’m not at a point where I can say definitively what happened to this young man was criminal in nature, but we’re not dismissing it either.”


Detroit Student Dies After Being Found in Mumford High Pool, Feb 24.

Fox 2 News video:

Read more:  The Detroit News

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