A child drowned, a pool was abandoned. Public pools are for so much more than recreation. | Opinion

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By Khadijah Costley White and Devyani Guha One late summer day in 2020, two weeks before his senior year would begin, a Black boy from Maplewood drowned. The silence after Omar Hutchinson’s death was deafening. There was no local news story about his life and loss, no town vigils, and no pledges from town leaders to make swimming lessons more accessible for the community. Even more striking, there was no change to the local school board’s plans to destroy the historic Columbia high school swimming pool. Hutchinson was among the first cohorts who did not learn to swim in Columbia High School’s …

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