New Law Prevents Dartmouth From Offering Swim Lessons
A new law aimed at preventing kids from drowning is ironically causing Dartmouth Parks and Rec from holding it's summer swim lessons.
they have to cancel their summer swimming lessons for the first time in over 40 years.
The law, known as Christian's Law, is designed to help camps and recreation programs identify "non-swimmers" and "at-risk swimmers" and requires those programs to have Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices available to all of them.
It all sounds good in theory, but to put the law into practice is more difficult than you may think.
We spoke to the Dartmouth Parks and Rec director Timothy J Lancaster who tells us that in order to follow the new law, the department would essentially have to have a licensed psychologist on the shore to determine a child's "psychological and cognitive abilities" while in the water.
And since the town doesn't have anyone on staff with those credentials, they unfortunately have to cancel their summer swimming lessons for the first time in over 40 years.
Lancaster also tells us that they have reached out to local legislators in hopes of rewording the law to include the swim lessons they have offered the youth of Dartmouth for decades.
With miles of coastline here on the Southcoast, swimming is a skill kids should definitely have. And this law could affect more cities and towns before the summer swim season starts up.
The only exception right now is in pools, so swim lessons at indoor facilities are still able to run as usual.