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Letter: Swim lessons needed to avoid tragedy

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

The recent drowning of six teenagers in Louisiana was a preventable tragedy. Swimming is a lifetime skill which everyone should learn, regardless of age. Unfortunately, the Middle Peninsula has very few pools and even fewer instructors. For the past 10 years I had the honor of being one of the instructors in the Gloucester County second grade swim program offered at the Wellness Center. This coming school year the program will cease to exist due to budget cuts and time constraints.

Ten years ago out of an average class of 20 students we would have approximately four kids who couldn’t swim enough to save their own lives. This past year we were averaging 15! This is unforgivable in an area that has water on three sides!

I understand and believe that it is not the responsibility of the school system or government to teach swimming. That is something that is a parental responsibility from a very early age. Unfortunately, due to inherent fear of the wa...

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