TORONTO – Ontario Provincial Police say members of its Criminal Investigation Branch will probe the death of a 15-year-old Toronto student who drowned while on a school trip to Algonquin Park last month.
Jeremiah Perry disappeared under the water after going for an evening swim in a lake with other students in early July. His body was discovered about a day later by the OPP’s underwater rescue unit.
Last week, the Toronto District School Board said Perry had not passed a swim test required to go on the trip, and apologized to the teen’s family.
The board’s director of education, John Malloy, said that of the 32 students who went on the multi-day canoe trip, 15 had failed the swim test.
Malloy said that the initial swim test took place in a lake, and that students who did not pass the first test should have been required to take a second test at C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute, the school Perry attended. But, he said, the second test was neither provided nor offered.
Two teachers who were on the trip have been placed on home assignment as a result of the incident.
The province has also launched a review of outdoor education policies for every school board in light of Perry’s death.
Ontario Education Minister Mitzie Hunter said the province’s review will look at school boards’ compliance with their policies on outdoor education.
Hunter has also said the province would immediately increase funding to life-saving swimming programs and increase awareness about the programs for incoming Canadian residents.