Sign up to stay connected
Get the top stories of the day around the DMV.
Maryland Del. Karen Toles (D-District 25) has introduced a bill that would require the state’s Department of Education to develop a curriculum that would teach swimming and water safety to students in grades 8 to 12.
Toles said she never learned how to swim but feels future generations should have the chance to learn the skill.
She said that though she went to beaches and parks, she “just had to kind of wing it” when it came to swimming, WTOP reported.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black children ages 10-14 drown at rates 7.6 times higher than white children.
Toles said the swimming course would be an elective that students could use to fulfill their physical education requirement. The bill would not mandate public schools to construct pools for instruction, but Toles said schools could partner with local facilities and departments of recreation to provide the lessons.
If enacted, the legislation would go into effect for the 2025-2026 school year.