Bill would require swimming lessons

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COLUMBIA --- A bill to make swimming lessons mandatory in South Carolina public schools could create challenges for Aiken County public schools.

"Considering the size of some of our high schools -- 1,400-1,600 students -- and the distance that some students would have to travel ... I don't see it being feasible at all to work into the school day," said Kevin O'Gorman, the district's associate superintendent for instruction and accountability.

The bill, H. 4149, would require students, beginning as early as kindergarten, to take two years of swimming lessons in order to graduate from high school. The bill applies to school districts that have a public pool within 10 miles of the district boundary line.

"This is not only for the safety of our children, but the health of them also," said Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, who introduced the bill last month.

Mr. O'Gorman said swimming is a valuable skill but transportation would be difficult, especially for Aiken County's rural schools in Ridge Spring and Wagener.

"Why the school system?" he said. "Obviously it's a community problem ... why isn't there a community effort to provide some lessons free to the entire public, not just those enrolled in public schools?

"They infringe upon why kids are in school, which is for academic purposes and to build character," Mr. O'Gorman said.

How to pay for a swimming program might pose the greatest challenge. Mr. Gilliard's bill does not appropriate state funds or specify how the districts would pay for the swimming instruction.

Lawmakers begin the second session of a two-year General Assembly in January.

Reach Sarita Chourey at (803) 727-4257 or sarita.chourey@morris.com.

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cajunnana2000
2
Points
cajunnana2000 07/09/09 - 03:40 am
0
0
Wow its not even mandatory

Wow its not even mandatory for kids in New Orleans to take swimming lessons. Maybe they should just reinstate physical education.(duh). Must be finding ways ways to use the stimulas money. Or is that something required for schools in Argentina, or Mexico.

wribbs
435
Points
wribbs 07/09/09 - 06:06 am
0
0
Another stupid politician has

Another stupid politician has opened his mouth before giving this any thought. This is stupid on so many levels! Will the government have to take over pools to do this? There would have to be a pool 'Czar' to oversee this. Are the pools safe? Will the lessons being taught in district A be the same as lessons being taught in district B? The 'Czar' would have to develop a standardized test that proved the student had actually learned to swim. More government slowly creeping into your life. Learn to swim like everyone I know; get an adult to throw them into a pond over and over until they figure it out. STUPID POLITICIAN!!!!!!!

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 07/09/09 - 06:13 am
0
0
While I like the idea of

While I like the idea of everyone knowing how to swim, I feel it's like the "school meals" tax. Shouldn't the parent's responsibility come into play sometime? I HATE the "cradle to the grave" nannyism that seems to permeate our state and federal governments.

wizzardx1
0
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wizzardx1 07/09/09 - 06:36 am
0
0
Shouldn't it be manditory

Shouldn't it be manditory that students be required to read and write the english language?

tlnvols
0
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tlnvols 07/09/09 - 07:19 am
0
0
They could never afford this.

They could never afford this. The South Carolina State Championships are being held at the Augusta Aquatic Center. Why does SC have to have it's championship meet in GA?

mgroothand
5
Points
mgroothand 07/09/09 - 07:30 am
0
0
My father taught me how to

My father taught me how to swim. He took me to the deep end of the pool and threw me in. He watched do the dog paddle for a while then left.

Boston93
117
Points
Boston93 07/09/09 - 07:49 am
0
0
tinvois: Have to go to

tinvois: Have to go to Georgia because of the Blue Laws. No swimming before 1:30pm.

Does_it_really_matter
1
Points
Does_it_really_matter 07/09/09 - 07:52 am
0
0
Can we please stick to

Can we please stick to teaching Reading, Writing, science and Math to our kids? And we wonder why SC is one of the lowest ranked states in the Government Schools across the country!

mable8
2
Points
mable8 07/09/09 - 08:37 am
0
0
Okay, what swimming star is

Okay, what swimming star is the legislator enamored with to produce such a bill? When Ike became President, all the schools in Kansas made the students learn how to play golf; and it didn't go over very well with 99% of the students. Stick to the 3 R's; get rid of "no child left behind" garbage and the "new math."

accidentprone83
0
Points
accidentprone83 07/09/09 - 10:07 am
0
0
i understand most parents

i understand most parents want education to be the biggest concern for when at school, but what about when out of school?? more childen die due to drownings when unattended in many MANY different circumstances. water safety is something overlooked when it the leading cause of death in childen 1-5years old. its not just about 'swim lessons', but about water education that goes along during that 'lesson.' yes, many people learn to swim by being thrown in water, but what about those that dont have parents that care about them to even FIND OUT if they CAN swim or NOT?? whether a pool or a swimming hole... if the state is going to fund it, might as well let it happen. it saves families time and grief when PREVENTION is key verses making funeral plans and putting blame where blame might be needed. Water Safety Prevention is not something anyone should miss, whether you think you need it or not.

accidentprone83
0
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accidentprone83 07/09/09 - 10:18 am
0
0
and by all means do not think

and by all means do not think of the 'swim lessons' as trying to create olympic swimmers out of all of this. all it is trying to accomplish is to make SMARTER water decisions, and teaching those who are not strong swimmers to save themselves, and possibly saving someone else without endangering themselves in the meantime. if you havent figured it out, I am a water safety instructor TRAINER... this is something i deal with on a daily basis besides my full time job. to listen over and over again on the news of another drowning because of a stupid misjudgement breaks my heart!!!! teaching buddy systems, basic safety rescues, learning to float and not panic, and showing dangerous locations to a 6yo actually tends to stick with them for (hopefully) life. give it a chance people. these are the lives of your families and friends. is their life more important then the money spent to potentially save a life???

accidentprone83
0
Points
accidentprone83 07/09/09 - 10:40 am
0
0
and what about the adults

and what about the adults that never learned to swim and try and save their child when a situation occurs??? just minutes ago there was a post about a mother and child drowning in jacksonville. if the parents cant save their children that dont have any education, who can??

tlnvols
0
Points
tlnvols 07/09/09 - 10:57 am
0
0
Accident. If they die from

Accident. If they die from 1-5 they won't learn in school anyways.
Where do you plan to come up with the millions of dollars this will cost to build all the pools. I think everyone should learn to swim but it is not the State's responsibility..Or the tax payers. I swim & never learned in school.

noway
201
Points
noway 07/09/09 - 11:30 am
0
0
This is stupid. I cannot

This is stupid. I cannot believe that SC would mandate such a thing. That is NOT government's job, let alone how much it would cost the schools, the insurance the schools would have to buy, the liability. Another great idea by the wonderful SC government.

workingmom
0
Points
workingmom 07/09/09 - 12:46 pm
0
0
It is not the school system's

It is not the school system's responsibility to teach children to swim. This is something parents should be required to do, whether they can swim or not. Perhaps the state could pay for swimming instructions at public pools during the summer or after school. In no way should something like this be squeezed into the school day.

accidentprone83
0
Points
accidentprone83 07/09/09 - 12:51 pm
0
0
the education would go to the

the education would go to the adults that received the schooling while a student in school that PREVENTED their 1-5year olds from drowning in the first place. yes i understand this is something very costly, but are all you saying that this spending is NOT worth your CHILDS life?? plus, this is something years down the road i'm sure, but its not about building NEW pools in the school areas. its about OPPORTUNITY. do you no longer want the guys on big red fire trucks coming to the schools to teach fire safety because its wasting tax dollars and fuel?? yes i understand that it is costly, but how often in the news in todays time do you hear, "well, they couldnt swim, and no one could help them." just give it a chance... thats all i'm asking. i'm not looking into this as giving me a better job with teaching. i'm just displaying the side that helps saves lives down the road. preventing lawsuits because of sheer studity and uneducation on the topic at hand. Water safety is not just swimming, its about boating/house dangers/water in general. thats all...

smec29
31
Points
smec29 07/09/09 - 03:58 pm
0
0
My children know how to swim,

My children know how to swim, I taught them, in no way would I ever think that's the governments job to do. My parents taught me to swim, my parents taught me to drive. We have too much government intervention as it is....lets make them learn to ride bikes too....

scrapple
0
Points
scrapple 07/09/09 - 04:00 pm
0
0
What about kids that have no

What about kids that have no desire to go near water? Should they be forced to do this by the government? What would the standards be? Put your head under water or else? And what about females that WILL be sexually harrassed by males in their own class? Is anyone considering this?

disssman
6
Points
disssman 07/09/09 - 05:18 pm
0
0
What a great idea! Next you

What a great idea! Next you know they are going to make math, reading, history and health mandatory. No wonder this state is last in education in the civilized world. But at least their Governor is highly religious or so he says.

inkpup
0
Points
inkpup 07/09/09 - 06:41 pm
0
0
Stupid stupid stupid.

Stupid stupid stupid.

accidentprone83
0
Points
accidentprone83 07/09/09 - 08:28 pm
0
0
following link is from the

following link is from the CDC. i see that more people are upset with the financial aspect of it and the role of the parent. i agree with others that parents should be responsible up until certain ages. but what the program is trying to help those that dont have the chance to even experience the water. (and what about those that are terrified?? ever think that the parent taught the child to fear the water? i see it time and time again in swim lessons due to the parents ever preventing the child to get their face wet when bathing.) maybe the state should think about providing information to the parents first about all this, then see where it goes from there. but just look at the numbers... they are quite astounding
http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Water-Safety/waterinjuries-...

Dark Lord
2
Points
Dark Lord 07/09/09 - 08:35 pm
0
0
South Carolina politics at

South Carolina politics at it's best (lol). Let me get this straight... If I make the honor roll, pass all required state test, but fail swimming I will have to settle for a GED because I can't swim? Reading is fundamental not swimming. How about making it manditory to take financial management classes, or responsible parenting classes so that the kids will be more responsible with credit and raising a family. Can you swim senator? Of course you can because you are swimming in it right now.

tlnvols
0
Points
tlnvols 07/09/09 - 08:49 pm
0
0
IT is not the stae's resp. to

IT is not the stae's resp. to teach a child to swim, why not make then take 2 years of driving,more are killed by that..
What say you Accident..

coolette
10
Points
coolette 07/09/09 - 10:58 pm
0
0
We didn't have swimming

We didn't have swimming lessons offered by public schools when I was growing up. Why make the tax payers pay for that? What does that have to do with academics? ABSURD!! Why even have a YMCA? Why not lower the teacher/ child ratios instead!! Oh, yeah, they wouldn't want our students to be prepared to compete in a GLOBAL economy or be smarter than our GOVERNMENT!!! Where are commonsense today?

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 07/11/09 - 07:54 pm
0
0
It is not practical to teach

It is not practical to teach swimming during school hours. Find another solution. Parents should teach their children to swim themselves or hire an instructor to teach them and make sure they have actually taught them.

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