Teacher accused of criminal negligence after drowning

The 54-year-old teacher, Nicholas Mills, was charged with criminal negligence causing death after one of his students drowned on a school trip in Algonquin Park.

The victim, Jeremiah Perry, could not swim and was not wearing a life jacket.

The 15-year-old drowned in Big Trout Lake on July 4, 2017. His body was rescued the next day.

The CW Jefferys Collegiate Institute student was taking part in a week-long canoe trip with about 30 other students from his school and another from the Toronto Public School Board (TDSB).

It was revealed after the tragedy that the victim had failed a swim test before the school outing. In fact, half of the students participating in backcountry canoe trip had not passed the test.

The teacher “responsible” for the excursion

The accused teacher was working at the victim’s school.

As coordinator, he was responsible for the Algonquin Park tour itinerary. He was also responsible for the group of students Jeremiah Perry belonged to.

Catherine Yarmel, OPP Spokesperson

The resident of Caledon, north of Toronto, is scheduled to appear in court on September 11.


The victim’s father, Joshua Anderson, says the last year seemed like an eternity . He is relieved to see that the police investigation has led to a criminal charge.

Nothing will bring Jeremiah back or remove the suffering of his death, but we hope that the court proceedings will serve as an important step to avoid the repetition of such a tragedy during a school trip.

Joshua Anderson, father of the drowned teenager

For its part, the English Public School Board of Toronto says its procedures have been tightened. For example, each outing must be approved by the school principal, who is responsible for ensuring that only those students who have passed the appropriate tests can participate in the tour.

Participants’ parents must also approve the results of any swim test before the trip.

“It should never have happened,” says Mayor John Tory. “Lessons have been learned [from the tragedy]. Yes, we want young people to have fun, but we must also make sure they are safe.”

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