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Student doing well after nearly drowning during school trip

Original post made on Jun 11, 2009

A student at Harvest Park Middle School was said to have nearly drowned yesterday during a school trip to the Dolores Bengston Aquatic Center. In an email sent by the school, principal Jim Hansen said the boy was released from ValleyCare Medical Center and doing well.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 11, 2009, 12:15 PM

Comments (29)

Posted by True Gratitude, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 11, 2009 at 2:17 pm

What a joy to herald people as heroes, acting quickly, coolly, and effectively, with no hint of political, racial, or monetary overtones.

Those who did so in this case should not remain nameless.

They are in every way entitled as Capt. Chesley Sullenberger III.


Posted by LK, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 11, 2009 at 6:34 pm

From what I heard from the students, the popular cheerleader kids were making fun of him and egged him on to jump into the water knowing he could not swim. They did not help him but the lifeguards did.


Posted by HPMS Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 12:03 am

My daughter was near the kid when this happened & told me (before I received Mr. Hansen's email) that he was pushed in by another kid. He did not jump in. She said the lifeguards & HPMS staff acted quickly to make sure he was safe & paramedics were on scene quickly. Scary! She said the kid was foaming at the mouth and appeared to have a seizure.

I hope he is doing well & I hope that the child responsible for pushing him into the pool receives a severe punishment.

I pray I never receive that scary phone call of my child nearly drowning while on a school field trip.


Posted by another parent, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 12, 2009 at 7:14 am

HPMS Parent: You should tell Mr. Hansen and have your daughter identify who pushed him in. HPMS takes things like this seriously unlike the other schools. I heard the lifeguards were extremely slow to responding from another adult there.


Posted by swimmer, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 12, 2009 at 7:57 am

I heard that the life guards were right on it. IMMEDIATELY! An angel told me.


Posted by HPMS Parent, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 12, 2009 at 8:59 am

My daughter said that HPMS staff knew right away what happened & who pushed him in. She & others around her rushed to help the boy, but lifeguards & HPMS staff were already right there so she & her friends moved out of the way.

I'm just glad to hear he will be fine. My daughter took what happened pretty seriously. She's never been that close to someone going through a trauma.


Posted by Vally View mom, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jun 12, 2009 at 9:53 am

I do not like these school swim parties at all. Two years ago my 5th grader went and despite my having coated him with sunscreen, he got fried to a crisp. There is, in my opinion, insufficient oversight of all these kids, and the fact that it is swim outing increases the danger dramatically. Why not just a picnic or something?


Posted by Another parent, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:30 am

The kids should have acted sooner and been an ally when he was being bullied, not waited to help AFTER he was pushed in. Anyone who sits by and watches bullying is just as guilty if they do not intervene.


Posted by to valley view mom, a resident of Castlewood Heights
on Jun 12, 2009 at 10:57 pm

can't a 5th grader put on his own sunscreen?


Posted by amazon, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 13, 2009 at 6:37 am

I find all the comments fascinating regarding assigning blame to the other kids there - from the popular cheerleaders to the bullies who supposedly egged him on. But nothing on the lack of responsibility that the parents of this child have shown....to let him be in 5th grade and not know how to swim. And on top of that, knowing that their child could not swim, they sent him to a swimming event. They need to wake up to the reality of what the preteen world is like...and teach their child to swim. Because right now all they have done is paint a large target on his back.


Posted by Mom, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 13, 2009 at 7:19 am

Amazon: You are a cruel witch. Perhaps it is your child that pushed him in. It is ok to be different and it does not give another child the right to make fun of him or hurt him. Now I know where the kids in this community get their intolerance. From the ignorant parents.


Posted by another mom, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm

The kid was not pushed, he was dared. Doesn't make it OK, but kids will be kids and I would NEVER send my kid to a swim party if he couldn't SWIM. No one is to blame- this is why it's called an accident. The good news is that the boy is OK and hopefully a valuable lesson was learned.


Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2009 at 1:44 pm

To valley view mom:

My 5th grader went to the pool on a field trip and put his own sunscreen on, reapplying it as needed throughout the field trip. That is how you avoid burning - you should not go around trying to prevent others from having fun. Teach your child how to act his age and put his own sunscreen on.
----------
I am glad to hear the boy who had a convulsion is OK, but I agree with others about the parents' responsibility: if your child cannot swim, then go with him to the field trip or keep him at school that day. In my opinion, all children should learn how to swim, especially living here in the Bay Area.


Posted by Karen, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 13, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Let's not blame the parents of the child who nearly drown. If it is true that others were bullying this kid or teasing him/her because of their inability to swim, let's blame the parent's of those children.

Teasing/Bullying is a HUGE problem in schools. If a kid can't swim it doesn't mean they need to miss out on a party. Other children need to learn to behave and respect the fact that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a pool or a membership to a club where they can learn to swim.

I hope that if someone pushed him/her that the police were called and charges were filed.


Posted by I agree, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2009 at 8:35 am

Bravo, Karen. That is right, but the parents in this town just don't get it and take no responsibility for their kids' poor behavior. It will never change here and this community breeds an entire generation of self-absorbed and intolerant children much like their parents. You can say it until you are blue and they will never get it. Their answer for everything is to tell people who do not like it to move. It is Pleasanton's dirty little secret.


Posted by recent experience, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2009 at 10:04 am

Karen and I agree,

In a court of law, if this child had been injured, who would be on the defendant? The parents of the child injured, the parents of the children that pushed the child, or the district?

Therein lies the answer! And you are both correct:

The parents of the child that almost drowned are hardly guilty of an activity that other children did to cause him harm. Not to escalate things, that is like telling a rape victim she caused the rape by what she wore.

Listen, obviously there may be a family issue regarding a child that cannot swim. Perhaps the child has a fear of water, or other issue. It really isn't our business. The point is, the district opens this activity up to all children and therefore they are the responsible agents in the protection of the child...acting on behalf of the parents in that situation.


Recently I was in a local store. My very young children were sitting on chairs waiting for me to complete my shopping. I noticed they were getting "squirrely" and I commented to the shop owner that I should leave and return later without my kids to complete the purchase. I wanted to put the items on hold. She was speechless at first, but then went on to say that not only were my kids well behaved, as she offered them treats, but she said I was absolutely welcome to stay and finish and she herself would entertain the kids for me. I couldn't believe she said that, since she is running a business not a babysitting service.

I hestitated, feeling it wasn't her responsibility, when she said she wanted to tell me a story. Apparently the day before a customer came into her store with older children than mine. The woman was described as completely detached from the situation that her children created as they ran around in the store, slammed the dressing room doors repeatedly, crawled under the dressing room doors and intruded on the other customers. She said they ruined countelss displays and she even had to ask of one her sales people to follow the kids around to clean up after them. The mother continued in her shopping without any regard to reprimanding her own children's behavior.

The shop owner, finally exasperated, approached the mother and asked her to get her own two children under control. The mother yelled at the shop owner, put down her purchases, stormed out of the shop, only to have her husband return to the store and proclaim he would single handedly would man a campaign to ruin her business and continued and said, "Don't ever threaten" his wife again.

WHAT???!!??

If you cannot control your own children...YOU are the one responsible for their actions whether you are right there or away. Until parents anywhere get this fact, life for the rest of us will remain miserable, and even, as happened this last week, at risk of death.


Posted by Julie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2009 at 11:53 am

Julie is a registered user.

I am so glad that the boy is going to be okay.

I don't think anyone is to blame except the child who pushed him in (if in fact he was pushed). I'm sorry, but you can't blame parents for everything. There are many parents who role model appropriate behavior, teach sound principles, etc. but their children still end up doing stupid things like pushing a child into a pool. On the flip side I've met very nice children who have jerks for parents.

In "recent experience"'s example that mother was definitely to blame. When you are directly supervising your young children you need to set limits. I was conducting a wire transfer in a bank recently and was trying to concentrate on the account numbers and information I was receiving (I had never done one before). There was what appeared to be a father sitting at a desk with a banker. His little boy (3ish) was running ALL over the bank making noise. I could tell that the woman helping me was irritated but she said nothing. I think it's awful that stores, banks, etc. have to fear saying something to parents who are being inappropriate with their children. I love kids, I work with them - but I don't enjoy them running all over the bank. I turned and stared at the father for a couple of minutes. When the he made eye contact he called his son over to him. I was getting ready to say something since obviously the bank wasn't going to stop it.


Posted by HPMS Parent, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 14, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Okay, this came from an administrator at HPMS. The boy, who did not know how to swim, was in the shallow pool doing fine. He apparently was egged on by some other boys and was dared to jump into the nearby lap pool, which is deeper. He jumped in and realized that he couldn't touch the bottom and panicked. We all know what happened next. Thank God he is okay.

Was it right for the boys to egg him on? No. Was it right for his parents to send him to a swim party with the knowledge that he did not know how to swim? No. I believe that the parents of both sides need to take responsibility. All too often, these days, parents think it is okay for kids to pick on eachother, find the "weaker" one. You know, "boys will be boys" --UGH! I had brothers and my parents NEVER allowed them to pick on anyone, just because they were boys.

Please people. If you read these comments, you can tell those that probably allow too much teasing and those that over protect their children. We live in a bubble here and need to teach our kids that there will always be people who think they are better than them, but that they are good people and should let it bounce off of them. Tough lessons, but one that we, as adults, have all had to go through.


Posted by Really now . . ., a resident of Las Positas
on Jun 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm

"HPMS Parent: You should tell Mr. Hansen and have your daughter identify who pushed him in. HPMS takes things like this seriously unlike the other schools."

Wow, what a slap in the face to the other schools! To 'another parent': Have you had kids at the other schools? You must be the first parent in Pleasanton history to have your children go through all three middle schools! I will not speak for Pleasanton Middle, but I can GUARANTEE you that Steve Maher at Hart would have taken this incident VERY seriously.


Posted by RK, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Bullying does not build character and is not a right of passage. It needs to stop and not victimize the victim.


Posted by LM, a resident of Hart Middle School
on Jun 14, 2009 at 7:21 pm

I have 2 kids at Hart and I can tell you they do nothing about bullying at that school. The teachers turn away from it as does the administration. We know first hand about some of the horrors there.


Posted by Really now . . ., a resident of Las Positas
on Jun 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm

LM:

I think you are wrong, but hey, I don't walk in your shoes, so I will not judge. I'm sorry about your experiences. If that is really the case, then contact the school board, contact Casey, and contact a lawyer. I hardly beleive "they do nothing about bullying at that school". If that is the case, then you have a case. File a lawsuit and make millions.


Posted by AH, a resident of Harvest Park Middle School
on Jun 15, 2009 at 5:28 am

TO really now: There are at least 3 families I personally know of that have left Hart and PMS because of bullying and are at HPMS because of their aggressive anti-bully program. They are all great kids and the parents are not interested in sucking more money out of the school district with law suits...they just want their kids to be safe and happy. What they really should do is sue the parents of the kids that did the bullying and make them responsible. Then.. you might see something happen. That is such a typical trashy statement you made...file a lawsuit. And... if you think John Casey does not know about this you are living in a dream world.He simply has bigger problems of his own, does nothing about these issues and is hanging on until his retirement date. You are right about one thing, do not judge what you do not know about.


Posted by amazon, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Jun 15, 2009 at 9:50 pm

To Mom/member of Harvest Park community who responded to my comment above - you complain that our community having intolerant people.....but let's see......
1) you called me a cruel witch
2) you then proposed that perhaps my child was involved in this
3) and then you imply that I am an ignorant parent
hmmmmmm - wonder who is showing intolerance here????


Posted by MM, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 16, 2009 at 7:30 am

Amazon, rudeness like yours puts, as you stated, a large target on YOUR back.


Posted by Queer, a resident of Ruby Hill
on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:15 am

"Posted by I agree, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 14, 2009 at 8:35 am

Bravo, Karen. That is right, but the parents in this town just don't get it and take no responsibility for their kids' poor behavior. It will never change here and this community breeds an entire generation of self-absorbed and intolerant children much like their parents. You can say it until you are blue and they will never get it. Their answer for everything is to tell people who do not like it to move. It is Pleasanton's dirty little secret."

Sweet Post!

The posts by other parents and moms, CLEARLY show the pompus, entitltement, arrogant, snide, stuck up, and nasty traits of SOME Pleasanton parants ie:(Moms)The Botox Generation...


Posted by Jen, a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 16, 2009 at 8:17 am

I know these moms and I can say this:

They seem to THINK their children are so smart and well behaved.

I see their children when the moms are not around, and their behavior is appalling.

But, I must add that some of these moms behavior is much worse!


Posted by The Best, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jun 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm

It is crazy the amount of time and energy used here, let's move forward and teach the kids how to swim, how to run, how to have fun, and the best to teach them is, how to help in situations like this one. To over protect kids is very bad as well. If they have to put sun screen or they have to pick up their bedrooms is their own RESPONSIBILITY, and nobody teaches that here. People please remember that you are neighbors, probably tomorrow you will need help in between you, think about it...................


Posted by Chola, a resident of Birdland
on Jun 20, 2009 at 12:48 am

(to the ignorant person below me) this lifeguard is no hero, any human being with half a brain would have helped a drowning child. You are selfish and inconsiderate for trying to name a person who obviously doesn't want to be named.

8===============================D


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