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By JESSE LEAVENWORTH, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hartford Courant
8:44 PM EST, November 21, 2012
A Manchester High School student died Wednesday after being found at the bottom of the school's pool, police said.
The boy was identified by the state medical examiner's office as Malvrick Donkor, 14, a freshman. He was taking part in a swim class directed by a physical education teacher when he was found under water, Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel said.
Malvrick is the second high school student to die after being found in a pool this year. Marcum Asiamah, 15, died Jan. 11 after being found in the East Hartford High School pool during a supervised gym class.
About 15 students were in the class with Malvrick, Kisiel said, and a surveillance camera was in use.
A student noticed the boy in the pool, and alerted a teacher, who called for help, police said. The emergency call came in at 10:21 a.m. and medics arrived 3 minutes later, according to the town fire department. School staff and police officers assigned to the school were performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation when medics arrived, according to the department.
Malvrick was taken to Manchester Memorial Hospital about 10:45 a.m., Kisiel said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
"Join us in praying for the family," Kisiel said.
Malvrick, a recent immigrant from Ghana, played on the junior varsity soccer team. He wanted to be a doctor, his brother, Ato Donkor, a junior at the school, said Wednesday night.
Ato said he was in class Wednesday when his teacher told him his brother had been rushed to the hospital. Malvrick had been learning how to swim, Ato Donkor said. He said he had heard that his brother was in the shallow end of the pool and moved into the deeper end, but he added that he does not know what happened and is waiting for results of the police investigation
He said he and his brother came to the U.S. from Ghana in March. They lived with their parents in Manchester, Ato Donkor said.
Manchester High School Assistant Principal Jim Farrell described Malvrick as a "very charismatic, extremely handsome, well-liked, athletic young man. Everybody's extremely sad."
Luis Gonzalez, a junior at Manchester High, said he got to know Malvrick at the start of this school year and played soccer with him. Gonzalez described his friend as spirited and energetic and involved in many activities at the school.
"He was a great student-athlete," Gonzalez said.
The school has scheduled a vigil for Malvrick on Monday from 5 to 7 p.m.
Kisiel sent out a recorded message to parents by phone about the death. He told parents that students had been informed that there was an accident in the pool and that support personnel would be available for any students who needed them.
An investigation is underway, he said.
A high school football game that was scheduled for Wednesday between Manchester and East Hartford was postponed.
According to state regulations, any public pool must have a "person knowledgeable in the operation of the pool and in pool water chemistry and testing" on duty whenever a pool is open. Other safety provisions include the prominent posting of emergency phone numbers and visible markers at the points of "minimum and maximum depths, at all points where the pool floor changes slope."
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