A 14-year-old boy drowned after he was too embarrassed to tell his friends he couldn’t swim.
Chase Swanson-Ewing’s body was discovered a day after he went swimming with a friend in the Whanganui River in New Zealand on February 20.
In the wake of the horrific incident, the teenager’s mother has spoken out about how her son could not swim and was likely too embarrassed to tell his friends about it.
“I think he was embarrassed to let others know he couldn’t swim,” Louisa Baldwin told the New Zealand Herald.
She claimed her son always watched his friends swim in the river and believed bullying made him insecure about his lack of skill.
Despite being offered swimming lessons at school, he refused to partake.
“I firmly believe that peer pressure, or bullying, is the reason. They don't want their peers saying, ‘oh you're dumb, you can't even swim’,” she told the New Zealand Herald.
“He cared what others thought of him like anyone does and was subject to bullying like many others are.”
The mum is now calling for schools to implement compulsory swimming lessons to prevent others from drowning.
A Give A Little page has so far raised more than $2000 for the boy’s family and a tribute says he was an “amazing kid”.
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