Head of CPS visits family of drowned student

November 16, 2008 8:12:22 PM PST
Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan met Sunday with the family of a student who drowned while on a leadership retreat.The parents of 18-year-old Jimmie Avant were upset, saying school officials had not visited or said they were sorry since the tragedy. Their son and two classmates from North Lawndale College Prep died while attending a retreat in Algonquin. Avant and several others left their dorms early Friday morning and went out on the Fox River in a paddle boat. It took on water and sank.

"I sent my son to a safe haven. I trusted my son with them, my son's life, and he died," said Sharon Gowdy, a Avant's mother.

"The school reached out repeatedly and left some messages but that's not...it's irrelevant at this point," Duncan said.

The CPS CEO also said there would be a thorough investigation into the drowning.


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