Water safety and the OCDSB

Posted: September 14, 2010 in Curriculum

I got a pop-up notice this morning that Trustee Brockington has given notice of a motion he intends to bring to next week’s Education Committee Meeting.

He will ask staff to present a report to the Education Committee by March 2011 that will discuss the feasibility of integrating swimming lessons for all students by grade 3.

You can read the full motion here.

Too many children died in pools this summer and I think that, if it is affordable, that this would be a very proactive step for the OCDSB to take.

A nationwide spike in the number of drowning deaths this year, highlighted recently by 10 deaths in 10 days in Ontario, underlines the importance of caution in the water, experts say.

“The frustrating thing is there’s always things you can do to prevent it,” said Barbara Byers, the public education director with Lifesaving Society. “These aren’t really accidents. They’re preventable fatalities.”

As of Wednesday, July 14 there were 187 drownings across Canada in 2010, Byers said, noting the unofficial number is tracked through media and police reports. Using the same tracking tools, there were 161 deaths by the same day in 2009.

The increase in deaths at pools is also alarming, she said. In the 10 days around the Canada Day long-weekend, 10 drowning deaths were reported in Ontario, five of which were in pools.

I don’t think we’re talking about turning our children into a team of Olympians at the Board’s expense – just the basics… basics that might one day save a life.


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