Mother of Detroit teen who drowned in pool believes more than gross negligence involved in son’s death

Swimming teacher faces involuntary manslaughter charge

DETROIT – A swimming teacher at Mumford High School was charged in the death of a 15-year-old student who drowned in a school swimming pool during class, according to officials.

Da’Sean Blanding, of Detroit, was a student in Kareem Sigler’s 11:20 a.m. class at Mumford High School on Feb. 24, officials said.

Sigler, 47, of Detroit was in another room when a student told him Blanding was at the bottom of the pool, authorities said. Sigler dove into the pool and pulled Blanding out with the help of other students, officials said.

READ: Mumford High School swimming teacher charged in death of student who drowned during class

Authorities say Sigler was “grossly negligent” in failing to supervise Blanding. Sigler is charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony with a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

Blanding’s mother, Christina Blanding, is happy with the charges. But to her, this isn’t justice -- it’s just the beginning of finding out who was involved in her son’s death.

“It’s not easy to have your child for 15 years and wake up without him,” Blanding said.

She said the last three months haven’t been easy.

“It looked like someone beat my child and threw him in the water,” Blanding said. “This was harassment. This was foul play.”

According to the autopsy report, Blanding was believed to be under water for at least 30 minutes and had a bruise of his head resembling the grate along the outside of the pool.

MORE: Autopsy report shows teen drowned in Mumford High School pool

Approximately 16 other students were in the class. Blanding and her attorney, Johnny Hawkins, believe there’s more than just gross negligence involved in Da’Sean Blanding’s death.

Blanding believes some parents aren’t letting their children come forward. Hawkins said if students don’t come forward he will subpoena them in a civil lawsuit.

Sigler is expected to be arraigned Wednesday morning.



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