City High School Student Drowns During Field Trip to Bear Mountain

By Sonja SharpGustavo Solis and Nikhita Venugopal  on June 24, 2013 7:46pm  | Updated on June 24, 2013 10:10pm

 The International High School at Prospect Heights at 883 Classon Ave.
The International High School at Prospect Heights at 883 Classon Ave.
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DNAinfo/Sonja Sharp

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — A city high school student drowned Monday on a field trip to Bear Mountain State Park, city officials said.

The unidentified 16-year-old boy who attended ninth grade at the International High School at Prospect Heights was hiking with his classmates when he and another student left the group and decided to swim in Hessian Lake, according to the Department of Education and sources.

The lake has no lifeguards and swimming is prohibited, according to reports.

Dive teams from Stony Point and Thiells, N.Y., pulled the boy's body from the lake at roughly 3:50 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene, the Journal News reported.

His name has not yet been released.

"Our thoughts are with the family and school community during this difficult time," a DOE spokeswoman said in a statement.

The 48 students on the trip were accompanied by five chaperones, four teachers and a parent coordinator, a DOE spokeswoman said.

All of the students had permission slips to attend the trip.

Grief counselors will be at the school Tuesday and Wednesday, the DOE spokeswoman said.

Students from the freshman class trip returned to the school, located at 883 Classon Ave., late Monday afternoon and were sent home, sources said. Several police officers were stationed at the school until Monday evening.

The school is geared toward children of recent immigrants and focuses on English literacy and fluency as well as "collaboration, cross-cultural interaction and appreciation of diversity," according to the school's website.

Hessian Lake sits on the border of Rockland and Orange counties in upstate New York.

State Parks Department spokespeople did not immediately return calls for comment.

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