Assembly persons Sean Kean and Nancy Munoz introduced Bill A-5159 in August 2017, which requires school districts to provide instruction on water safety as part of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. The idea is to get “Water-safety education” in place within the state’s K-12 schools. When the bill didn’t pass, they decided to re-introduce it for this legislative session and really hope to get it done this time.

I pay $12,360 in property taxes. Of that, about 72 percent goes to public education. I feel that more and more of my tax dollars are going toward less and less real education. I resent it. And so should you. I am so tired of paying for the government to teach something to our children that it’s really a parents responsibility to do. Or should we allow a government agency to completely take over all parenting duties?

One proponent of the bill, lobbying tirelessly for its passing, is an owner of several swim schools, who happened to call in on the air yesterday. While I don’t doubt the swim school owner’s concern for the welfare of the children that he teaches, I really don’t get how that translates into a public school curriculum. When he called into our show today he expressed concern that although we currently have school curricula in place for fire safety and active shooters, there is no such training for water safety. In an article on he went on to state that this “is surprising considering all of the pools and lakes New Jersey has as well as our state’s coastal location.”

Come on.

The idea of teaching water safety in schools where there generally is no water is just silly. Fires can take place in schools, leading to multiple tragic deaths and injuries. Active shooters enter schools with the intent of mass murder. Those lessons make sense. There are so many childhood accidents that can lead to death or grave injury: Running out into traffic, playing on or near railroad tracks, digging sand tunnels, falling down stairs, drinking poisonous detergents or cleaners in the home, to name a few. Imagine if we took time out of the already jam-packed academic schedule our kids have to put in a curriculum for each of these potential hazards?

Let’s stop allowing our tax dollars to pay for yet another public school curriculum which encroaches on a parent’s duties. Water safety is an important subject. Our already over-burdened public schools are not the place to teach it.

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