By Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press
SASKATOON — The father of a five-year-old autistic boy who died after falling into a pond on his first full day of school last fall is not happy with a coroner’s report into his son’s death.
Kindergarten student Ahmedsadiq Hussein Elmmi was found in a pond near École Dundonald School in Saskatoon on Sept. 11 after the morning break. He was pronounced dead in hospital.
The coroner’s office said the death was accidental and no inquest will be held.
A local imam says the boy’s father, Hussein Elmmi, prays at the Saskatoon Islamic Centre and was upset by the coroner’s findings.
“They (the family) are not prepared to accept what was given as an explanation by the coroner, that’s what this is,” Imam Ilyas Sidyot told The Canadian Press. “They are thinking that this boy was a special case, therefore this is not a reason which they could accept.”
Saskatchewan children’s advocate Corey O’Soup is scheduled to table his report into Ahmedsadiq’s death in the legislature Tuesday afternoon.
A report by Saskatoon Public Schools released last week said Ahmedsadiq was fascinated by water and the school worked hard in the months leading up to the boy’s arrival at school to ensure his safety.
“The school felt confident that they had a solid safety plan in place for Ahmed’s arrival at school,” the report says. “Unfortunately, in the end the plan was not executed to perfection.”
An education assistant assigned to the boy held his hand at recess, the report said. Twice, Ahmedsadiq tried to free himself. On the third try, the report said he lined up for the slide and recess supervisors lost track of him.
It all happened within five minutes, the report estimated.
The coroner’s office recommended increased water safety training, and that ponds be located away from schools in the future, as well as additional barriers be put in place around ponds near schools.
Earlier this month, a city committee proposed a wrought-iron fence be built to separate Ecole Dundonald School from the park where the pond is located. City council is to consider the recommendation next month.