A year after the tragic death of a five-year-old boy, a fence is up at a retention pond behind École Dundonald School.
Ahmedsadiq Hussein Elmmi was found unresponsive in the pond on the morning of Sept. 11, 2017. Paramedics tried to revive him en route to hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
A report released in March by the Saskatchewan children’s advocate outlined that Elmmi had been previously diagnosed with autism.
The plan for his care at the school included provisions that an educational assistant monitor him and hold his hand throughout recess, as he was prone to run towards traffic and water.
The school board’s report stated a different assistant took over monitoring Elmmi during recess. After a few attempts to run, he eventually managed to pull away and ran towards a nearby slide. The assistant became briefly distracted, then noticed Elmmi was missing.
Following Elmmi’s death, the city looked into ways to make the pond safer. That process led to the recent installation of a partial fence, meant to more clearly separate the pond from the school.
Speaking with 650 CKOM on Monday, Denula Waldron said she’d been bringing her kids to the park for four years.
“The pond’s been there for so many years without incident, now it’s a shame to block it off,” she said.
However, Waldron said leaving the pond without a fence likely wasn’t an option given the tragedy and she appreciated the effort to make the new structure fit with the park.
“From a safety aspect I understand why it’s there and it looks good,” she said.
Saskatoon Public Schools declined to comment further on Elmmi’s death, citing a lawsuit filed by the boy’s parents against both the school board and the city.
—With files from 650 CKOM’s Chris Vandenbreekel