Talking Points

  • A 2020 poll of Florida registered voters confirmed that over 90% believe every child should be taught how to swim
  • In the real world, less than half of Americans know how to swim
  • Most school systems are not positioned to provide swim lessons for their students
  • There are 1.2 million backyard and public-use pools, plus tens of thousands of natural bodies of water, everywhere in the State of Florida
  • It is a basic parental responsibility to teach their children to swim
  • To raise the issue with parents, SB 358 simply requires that the school system, during the kindergarten entry process, asks the parents if they have provided swim lessons to their child
  • Parents can voluntarily answer the question or not answer the question without cause; this bill is NOT a mandate to require swim lessons
  • Simply asking the question guarantees that every parent becomes aware of this parental responsibility.
  • The long-term impact of this bill will be to create a safer, healthier citizenry since many parents will take action to teach their child to swim
  • There are numerous scholarship programs for financial support should the parents be unable to afford but desire to provide swim lessons for their child
  • When implemented, SB 358 will not impact the budget of any school system.
  • Once learned, basic swim skills will stay with each individual for the rest of their life
  • There are numerous positive health benefits gained from swimming regardless of age.
  • Research validates that children who learn to swim at an early age actually develop mentally and physically at a measurably better level, even performing better in school.

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