Connecticut lawmakers passed a new bill to increase safety at school pools. The news legislation comes in the wake of the deaths of Marcum Asiahmah in East Hartford and Malvrick Donkor of Manchester.
Daniel Ofori-Minteh was one of the parents that demanded state lawmakers to make some changes after his son, Malvrick Donkor drowned in a high school gym class last year.
“It’s good that they’re taking these steps but it’s too late,” admitted Daniel Ofori-Minteh.
He wished lawmakers would have looked at pool safety before his son Malvrick drowned during gym class at Manchester High School in November.
“That would have been perfect, a lifeguard would have been able to save him, they might have known something was happening,” Ofori-Minteh explained.
He told NBC Connecticut no lifeguard watched over the class when that happened, and said there was only one teacher there for 15 students. “
My son spent 17 minutes in the pool and nobody knew he was there,” Ofori-Mintah said.
Last January, a similar incident happened at East Hartford High School, when 15- year- old Marcum Asiamah drowned.
In response to his son's and Asiamah's drowning, Daniel Ofori-Mintah pushed lawmakers to step in.
“I have not stopped crying, my wife has not stopped crying, the children have not stopped crying,” he said.
The new pool safety bill will require all public schools to put a second pair of eyes on the water during swim class. The person would have to be Red Cross or Lifeguard certified and this might not cost districts anything. Students could actually volunteer for this as community service.
“If this would have been done a year ago my son would have survived by now,” Ofori-Mintah added.
He said these changes could prevent another tragedy, and save parents from the devastation he has dealt with. “My child is supposed to bury me, so why should I bury my child?” he questioned.
The Senate could vote on the bill as soon as next week. If it passes, it would be up to the Governor to sign it into law.