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Student survives drowning while swimming at Richfield Middle School

The 12-year-old was participating in a gym course that involved swimming.

A 12-year-old boy stopped breathing but survived a drowning accident at Richfield Middle School on Tuesday. 

According to Richfield Public Schools, the seventh-grade student was participating in a gym class that involved swimming in the school pool when he began drowning and lost consciousness. 

In a statement, Richfield Public Schools said the student "did not have strong swimming skills" when he entered the dive pool. "Several students and the PE teacher were able to remove the student from the water and administered CPR. The student regained consciousness and was transported to Children's Hospital." 

The boy was interviewed by FOX 9 and said he's grateful "I'm not dead." 

FOX 9 adds that the 12-year-old stopped breathing and didn't have a pulse for several minutes. 

“We are very grateful for the quick-thinking students and staff who responded to a student in distress. That student is safe at home with his family today because of their efforts,” said Superintendent Steven Unowsky.

Richfield Middle School offers an eight-day swimming course as part of its physical education curriculum, and it provides lessons for students of all skill levels while focusing on survival skills and basic swim strokes. 

Richfield Middle School Principal, Dr. Carlondrea Hines, said "this incident validates the need to have students participate in the water safety unit." 

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