#JUSTICEFORABDULLAHI: Safety violations, no lifeguard, at pool - KMSP-TV

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#JUSTICEFORABDULLAHI: Safety violations, no lifeguard, at pool

Posted: Updated:
Inside the St. Louis Park Middle School gym Inside the St. Louis Park Middle School gym
Abdullahi Charif, 12 Abdullahi Charif, 12
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (KMSP) -

Social media sites like Twitter are rife with debate on how to engage the St. Louis Park School District over the death of 12-year-old Abdullahi Charif, the 7th grade student who drowned in gym class.

On Tuesday, Fox 9 News obtained documents that confirm there was no certified lifeguard on duty when nearly 30 students took to the pool inside St. Louis Park Middle School on Thursday, only a licensed physical education teacher.

Furthermore, a safety inspection conducted after Charif's death reportedly found several violations, including a substandard first aid kit and poor lighting.

Dim pictures taken by the Hennepin County inspector show just how dark it was inside the pool area on the day Charif drowned, with the light levels measuring less than 10 foot candles. The recommendation is triple that amount, and the family's attorney wonders whether it was imply too dark to see Charif struggling.

"That's obviously an issue we're going to look into -- whether there was enough light in this pool to observe these kids, and certainly this child who sunk to the bottom," Fred Pritzker told Fox 9 News.

In June, a routine inspection found only one minor violation at the pool, and no mention of the lighting was made. Now, many are wondering how the conditions deteriorated in just 8 months and whether the inspectors may be seeing the pool differently in the wake of Charif's death.

Details surrounding the boy's death have been difficult to come by, and Pritzker issued a call for anyone with information to come forward just one day ago.

"There wasn't correct supervision, whether too many kids, not enough light, not enough perimeter walking to see what was going on -- just a whole host of factors," Pritzker said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the hashtag #JusticeForAbdullahi is connecting Twitter users in an evolving conversation on how to prevent another family from suffering a loss. Many are also calling for an investigation into the school.

On Monday, district officials confirmed two separate investigations are under way. One investigation centers on gym class protocol in the pool area, and the second is a police review of what transpired.

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