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No charges filed in drowning at St. Louis Park school


Prosecutors have decided against pressing criminal charges over the death of a 7th-grader who drowned at St. Louis Park Middle School.

FOX 9 reports the Hennepin County attorney's office determined there is not enough evidence to charge the school district, teachers, or staff members with a crime.

Family members of 12-year-old Abdullahi Charif expressed frustration after learning of the decision. As FOX reports, they said through their attorney that no one has yet explained how a boy who did not know how to swim was allowed to sink to the bottom of the deep end of the pool.

Charif was pulled unconscious from the swimming pool as a gym class was ending on Feb. 27 and died at a hospital two days later.

MPR News says Minnesota does not require lifeguards at public swimming pools nor at those in schools.

Pool policies have come under scrutiny, though, since the drowning deaths of Charif and of a 19-year-old student at Fargo South High School in February.

Fred Pritzker, the attorney for the Charif family, complained last month that the only teacher at the pool where the boy drowned was not a certified lifeguard and was supervising as many as 30 seventh-graders.

FOX 9 notes that Charif's death is among several tragic fatalities that have befallen St. Louis Park residents in the past year.

The most recent is the loss of Damian McManus and his 18-year-old son Evan. They are presumed dead after they disappeared last week on a spring break hiking trip in the mountains of Colorado.

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