Attorney Fred Pritzker is calling on anyone with information about the drowning death of Abdullahi Charif to contact the St. Louis Park Police Department. On February 27, 2014 12-year-old Abdullahi Charif’s lifeless body was discovered at the bottom of the deep end of the swimming pool at the St. Louis Park Middle School. He suffered irreparable brain damage and was pronounced dead two days later.
Abdullahi’s drowning occurred during gym class. The gym teacher, who was not certified as a life guard, was the only adult present. There were as many as 30 seventh graders in the class.
Abdullahi Charif did not know how to swim. His body was not discovered until after all of the students left the pool and returned to the locker room.
Abdullahi’s parents are struggling to understand how this tragedy occurred. They want to know the following, according to Pritzker, who is representing the family:
- How only one adult – not certified as a life guard – was allowed to supervise up to 30 students, including children who did not know how to swim;
- How a child who could not swim was unsupervised and somehow allowed or encouraged to be in the deep end of the pool;
- How this struggling child was not seen and rescued as he sank beneath the water;
- How his submerged body remained undetected for a prolonged period of time;
- What policies and procedures were in place to prevent this kind of occurrence and why they were inadequate or not properly enforced; and
- What changes need to be made to prevent this tragedy from occurring to another child and his/her family.
Officials of the St. Louis Park Public Schools have refused to provide the family with any information about the death of Abdullahi Charif, according to Pritzker. “This lack of information only compounds the family’s grief and mistrust,” said attorney Pritzker.
Pritzker is urging anyone with information about this tragic incident to contact the St. Louis Park Police Department.
Attorney Fred Pritzker has over 37 years of experience representing individuals and families in significant personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout the United States. His offices are located in Minneapolis, Minn. He can be reached at 612-338-0202.