Target: Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General
Goal: Hold high school accountable for the death of an autistic teenage boy.
An autistic 14-year-old boy sank to his death in a swimming pool due to the alleged negligence of a lifeguard on duty. Rosario Gomez could not swim, and his cognitive disabilities made it difficult for him to understand the rules and the dangers of the pool. He was not assigned a buddy to keep an eye out for him, and the lifeguard was reportedly too busy at the computer in a nearby office to notice that the boy had fallen in and was struggling to stay above water.
Gomez’s mother is suing the school district for a large sum of money, but there are currently no plans to file charges against the lifeguard or against Kennedy High School. This is not acceptable. School is an environment where a child should be kept safe and taken care of, especially a disabled child and especially in a risky environment such as a swimming pool. Specifically, it is a lifeguard’s duty to keep an eye on swimmers at all times, and the one in charge was allegedly too busy to bother doing their job.
Kennedy High School should not escape justice for this incident. They neglected to ensure that the lifeguard would keep the students safe, and not only must the lifeguard face justice, but the school must claim responsibility for their alleged negligence. Sign this petition to demand charges be filed and justice sought for Gomez.
Dear Attorney General Madigan,
An autistic student recently drowned in a swimming pool at Kennedy High School, where the lifeguard on duty was reportedly in their office on a computer instead of watching the students per their normal duty. There are no plans to file charges against the lifeguard or the school, despite the boy’s mother filing a lawsuit against them for a large sum of money.
Lawsuit or no lawsuit, you cannot allow the school to dodge responsibility for the incident. Rosario Gomez could not swim, was not assigned a buddy, and did not understand the dangers of the pool. He was left to struggle until he sank to the bottom, and by the time he was found it was too late.
You cannot allow Kennedy High School to escape justice. Not only must the lifeguard face severe disciplinary action for their reported negligence, but the school must be held accountable. This boy’s death was completely meaningless and his family is completely devastated. Press charges against this school and demand they strengthen their protections of disabled students.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: ABZ Private School