The recent drowning deaths of two students in high school swim classes prompted Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112) and her colleagues in the legislature to unanimously pass bipartisan legislation to strengthen regulations for supervision at all swimming pools used by schools.
H.B. 5113: An Act Concerning Pool Safety at Public Schools requires all swimming pools used by schools to have a qualified swimming coach or instructor and at least one other certified person present to supervise the pool during use. Coaches and instructors are required to be certified as life guards by a recognized national organization, be certified in CPR, and complete a first aid course on the use of automatic external defibrillators.
“Knowing how difficult it is for one person to monitor an entire class, especially in an environment like a pool where conditions can change rapidly, I know this legislation will help keep our children safe,” Rep. Hovey said. “Learning to swim is an essential skill and one I’m happy many of our schools teach, but having an extra set of eyes monitoring swimmers will decrease potential risks and make swim classes more enjoyable and beneficial for students.”
The bill also requires local and regional boards of education to develop a pool safety plan by July 1, 2014, and update it annually prior to the commencement of each school year.