Detroit family seeks $100M from school district after teen drowns when teacher steps away from the pool

A Detroit family is seeking $100 million in damages from the teacher and other leaders in the Detroit Public School Community District after a 15-year-old student died when the swim teacher stepped away from the pool.

Mumford High School swim teacher Kareem Sigler was arraigned Wednesday on involuntary manslaughter charges, a day after he was formally charged with the death of Da'Sean Blanding.

Da'Sean was a student in Sigler's class at Mumford. At 11:20 a.m. on Feb. 24, it is alleged that sometime after the class started, Sigler was in another room when a student notified him that Blanding was at the bottom of the pool. Sigler dove into the water and, with the help of other students, pulled the victim out. 

Da'Sean died at a nearby hospital.

Sigler was charged Tuesday with one count of involuntary manslaughter and it's alleged that the kids were playing near the pool when he left them unattended.

Da'Sean's mother, Christina, said Wednesday the pain she's suffering is unimaginable.

"It hurts every single day," she said. "It's a pain that will never go away. They caused pain and suffering in my life.

Christina and her attorney, Johnny Hawkins, say more than just Sigler should be charged.

"Those children are not coming forward," Hawkins said. "We're talking about additional defendants in the additional wrong, meaning this doesn't just fall in the lap of just Mr Sigler." 

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"I hope they get the people, the boys that did this," Christina said.

Sigler received a $30,000/10% bond.  His attorney tells Fox 2 "we will vigorously defend these allegations. He has the support of many colleagues, friends, family, and most of all, God."

As the criminal case gets started Hawkins is working to file a civil lawsuit against any and all teachers involved, the school's principal, and the school district.

"We are seeking damages in excess of $100 million dollars," Hawkins said.

FOX 2 asked the school district for a comment and received this statement: "The DPSCD Board of Education terminated the swim teacher, based on the Superintendent's recommendation. This entire situation has been painful to everyone involved."

Hawkins is begging parents of the children involved to step forward and talk to someone.

"Please step up and let their children speak. Call me, her attorney, or call the Detroit Police and tell someone what you actually saw we need to know," he said.

RELATED: Teen drowned in Mumford High pool had learning disability, was bullied, says mom