Community service demanded for Syrian girl's drowning during swim lesson

The Public Prosecutor demanded 120 hours of community services against three swim coaches and two teachers suspected of death through negligence in the drowning death of 9-year-old Salam. The Syrian girl drowned after a swimming lesson in t' Gastland swimming pool in September, just months after she and her family arrived in the Netherlands, AD reports.

According to the Public Prosecutor, the five suspects failed to comply to the rules set by the school and swimming pool and failed to live up to the standard that may be expected of them. They did not make mutual arrangements about keeping an eye on Salam, who could not swim. They should have exchanged more information, there was too little supervision and they did not make it clear to Salam, who could not speak Dutch, that she was not allowed in the deep pool, the Prosecutor said. 

Another guest at the pool spotted Salam's body in the bottom of the deep pool after the swimming lesson ended. Only then did the teachers and coaches realize that she was not accounted for, according to the Prosecutor. 

The Prosecutor accused the five of being busier chatting and cleaning up than checking whether all kids were out of the pool. They should've counted sooner whether all kids were accounted for and on their way to the shower. Mistakes were made, the Prosecutor said - Salam needed personal supervision, and did not get it. The Prosecutor called it a small instant of negligence, but in this case it was fatal. The impact on the suspects is high, the Prosecutor acknowledged. "But no punishment will bring Salam back. The unfading sadness of the parents can not be measured by a punishment."