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Investigators find no wrongdoing in June field trip drowning

International High School at Prospect Heights officials and chaperones complied with all rules about field trips for the upstate excursion during which ninth-grader Jean Fritz Pierre drowned in June, according to a report released today by Special Commissioner of Investigation Richard Condon.

Condon’s office interviewed students and teachers who participated in the end-of-year trip and concluded that Pierre had gone swimming despite being told not to by school officials and workers at Bear Mountain State Park. The report paints the picture of a willful teenager, adults desperate to save him, and a tragedy that could not have been averted.

The conclusions are very different from the office’s findings in 2010 after a student at a Manhattan school drowned during a field trip. In that case, the school had not collected permission slips for the trip and had taken students to swim at an unguarded beach. Chancellor Dennis Walcott imposed stringent new field trip regulations a year later.

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