“It’s a daily struggle,” Georgia Mother whose son drowned looking to bring new legislation to S.C.

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Published: May. 10, 2023 at 9:08 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Georgia mother still grieving the death of her 4-year-old son is pushing new legislation that she hopes to bring to South Carolina.

Dori Scott is the mother of Israel Scott who drowned last year while taking a private swim lesson.

Izzy was one of ten students in his private swim class.

Investigators say he was found at the bottom of the deep end of the pool, and to this day no one knows how he got there.

His mother thinks a lack of regulations for private swim lessons as well as negligence on the swim instructor’s part contributed to her son’s death.

Izzy’s Law also known as SB 107 was just signed into law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and now Scott and his family are working to bring that law to every state including here in South Carolina.

No one knew that this would be one of the last times they heard Izzy’s laugh.

“It’s a daily struggle,” Scott says.

Izzy’s mother says his death has taken a toll on their entire family.

“It’s been almost a year and I’m constantly watching videos and looking at pictures. It is life-changing and I feel like my life will never be the same,” she says.

Scott says she still remembers the moments leading up to her son’s untimely death.

“I was getting him and my youngest son ready for the day and I laid out their clothes. Izzy had swim clothes out and he said why am I wearing that and I told him because you have swim today and he said I don’t want to go and I said why and he said because I might drown,” Scott said.

Scott says Izzy had a smile on his face when he said that, but that same day, just his second day of swim class, Izzy drowned.

A report from investigators said the swim instructor’s niece found Izzy laying face down in the deep end of the pool.

“I lost it. I screamed, I couldn’t even stand up,” she recalled.

Scott says that no one could tell her how her son drowned and to this day she still doesn’t know but now she’s fighting to make sure no one else experiences that same pain.

“We started looking into some things and we found that there were no laws in place and that’s when immediately my family everyone just started to look into how we could get laws in place,” she said.

With the help of a Georgia Senator, Scott and her family came up with Izzy’s Law.

It would require the Department of Public Health to develop a model safety plan for private swim lessons and for instructors to implement a safety plan before offering lessons.

Specifically, it would require each swim instructor to have a safety plan including a student-to-instructor ratio, the presence of a secondary supervisor to assist in the safety of all swimmers and allow for all parents and guardians to be present during swim instructions.

Scott says, “I know he would, and I say that because first of all, she had too many kids. It go to the point where you were looking more at dollar signs versus the kids’ safety because there is no way you should have taken on that many kids and you didn’t have any help or a lifeguard or nobody standing by watching. In that case, you should’ve let the parents stay.”

“Unfortunately, I feel like the private swim sector suffers from a lack of regulation,” said Capps.

Anna Capps is a local swim instructor. She says right now, anyone regardless of their current certification can teach private swim lessons.

“Having those regulations can only protect you as an instructor and as a consumer. So, I really don’t see a downside to requiring those regulations,” said Capps.

Capps also says generally, private swim lessons include the instructor and student.

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