Thursday, July 10, 2014

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Brooklyn School In Shock After Student Drowns Upstate

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State police are investigating after a city high school drowned during a class trip to Bear Mountain State Park.

The Department of Education says Jean Fritz Pierre, 16, was among 48 students and five chaperones from International High School in Brooklyn who were visiting the park about 45 miles north of the city Monday.

While the group was hiking, Fritz Pierre and another student broke off and went into Hessian Lake, where swimming is not allowed.

According to published reports, witnesses saw Fritz Pierre diving off a rock into the lake.

He was later pulled from the water and pronounced dead at the scene.

This comes three years after a 12-year-old Harlem student drowned on a class trip to Long Island.

After that incident, new regulations were imposed including mandating four adult supervisors on class trips.

The DOE says the five chaperones on Monday's trip included four teachers and a parent coordinator.

They also say all of the students had permission slips.

"It was the appropriate ratio and we had a tragedy happen yesterday where we lost one of our students and that's it. it was nothing more than that. There will be an investigation but there was proper supervision there, the ratio was proper, and I want to be very clear about that," said Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott.

One ninth grader who spoke with NY1 says he knew the victim from middle school.

"He was funny, when we used to eat lunch he would come with us and take our lunch and other stuff," said the student.

"It's sad. And sad for the parents too," noted another fellow student.

Wednesday is the last official day of school, but grief counselors will be at International High School through the end of the week.

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