AP: Teacher to be fired in NY school trip drowning

(AP) - The New York City schoolteacher who chaperoned a beach trip at which a student drowned will be fired and theschool's principal will be put on probation, the city Department ofEducation said Wednesday.

The actions came after a report by the department's specialcommissioner of investigation found that parents never signedpermission slips for the June 22 trip to Long Beach and thatteacher Erin Bailey apparently did not notice signs that said "Nolifeguard on duty."

Twelve-year-old Nicole Suriel was one of 24 students from theColumbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering inHarlem who went to Long Beach, a popular beach town on Long Island.They were accompanied by three adults: Bailey, a first-yearteacher, a college intern and Bailey's boyfriend, who is a formercity schoolteacher.

No lifeguards were on duty because the beach was not officiallyopen for weekday visitors. The report found that although teacherswarned students not to go out too far, Nicole was pulled out by ariptide and drowned. Nicole's family has said she could not swim.

The report faulted principal Jose Maldonado-Rivera and assistantprincipal Andrew Stillman for poor planning. Instead ofdistributing consent forms for parents to sign, as required,Stillman sent parents an e-mail that said, "We're headed to thebeach tomorrow."

The report also found "a failure to provide a sufficient numberof adults to supervise the children at the beach and poor judgmentby the teacher in charge who either failed to realize that therewere no lifeguards on duty or failed to recognize the additionaldanger presented by their absence."

A Department of Education spokeswoman said that, in response tothe report, Bailey would be fired and Stillman would be demotedfrom assistant principal to teacher.

The department will seek to place Maldonado-Rivera on probationfor two years. Because he has tenure, he can request a disciplinaryhearing.

A spokesman for the United Federation of Teachers said he had nocomment on Bailey's firing.

Ernest Logan, president of the Council of School Supervisors andAdministrators, which represents Maldonado-Rivera and Stillman,said he supports the disciplinary actions.

Officials: Girl pulled from Long Beach waters dies

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