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Family of Whiteland HS student who drowned files wrongful death lawsuit against school, staff

Alaina Dildine.PNG
Posted at 9:15 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 21:15:32-05

JOHNSON COUNTY — The family of a student who drowned during gym class at Whiteland Community High School has filed a lawsuit against the district, school and staff.

15-year-old Alaina Dildine drowned in the swimming pool during PE class at the high school on May 16, 2023.

The coroner ruled her death accidental by seizure and drowning.

According to the lawsuit, Dildine was experiencing frequent seizures at school during the spring semester.

The lawsuit says on May 8, 2023, the PE teacher called the school’s nurse about Dildine “seeing blobs.” The nurse told Dildine to sit out of class that day, and she later had a seizure.

According to the lawsuit, on May 11, 2023, Dildine’s mother emailed the PE teacher asking if there was any other way Dildine could receive participation for the class without swimming. The teacher did not respond.

According to a timeline from the sheriff's department, Dildine went un-noticed in the pool for 52 minutes.

The suit alleges a head count was never done at the end of the class to ensure all students were out of the pool.

Dildine’s plan with the school was to be near a teacher at all times, but the suit says she was in the middle lane of the pool during class.

The suit also says the lifeguard on duty was instructing beginning swimmers in another lane, and that the lifeguard’s certification has been expired for several years.

The suit is seeking monetary damages, medical, funeral and burial expenses, counseling and attorney fees.

Clark Pleasant Community School Corporation issued the following statement regarding the lawsuit:

The School and its counsel are aware of the pre suit allegations and have worked diligently with counsel to resolve the dispute. Beyond that, we are unable to comment on threatened or pending litigation.