Minn. could be first state to require swimming lessons

By KBJR News 1

April 22, 2014 Updated Apr 22, 2014 at 6:39 PM CDT

Twin Cities, Minn. (NNCNOW.com) --Two Minnesota Lawmakers are pushing to require public schools to teach swimming lessons.

On Tuesday, the House Education Policy Committee had a hearing on the bill that would require swimming lessons to be offered to students in Kindergarten through 12th grades.

If this bill passes, Minnesota would be the first state in the nation to require schools to offer swimming lessons.

It comes after two recent drowning incidents, one in Fargo and one at St. Louis Park Middle School in the Twin Cities.

The Duluth YMCA has more than 200 kids in their swim classes.
Instructors reinforce the importance of kids learning how to swim.

"On average there are about 10 deaths per day from drowning and about 20 percent of that are kids under the age of 14," said YMCA Executive Director, Jeramy Katchuba. "So it is very important for kids to learn how to swim."

"It's practical. It's something that every child and every person in this state can use their whole life," said Hannah Leider, board chair of the nonprofit Minnesota Swims.

The bill has been spearheaded by Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL) D-62, and Representative Karen Clark (DFL).

No action has been taken on the bill so far.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.