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News You Can (ab)Use

Ha! Catchy title, don’t ya think? It may appear more than once during whatever life this blog has left. Of course, I’ll have to change it somehow each time, to make it unique.

Anyway, here is the first (& if yer lucky, maybe the last) installment, from an AP story as reported on WOLO tv’s website:

State Lawmaker Suggests Schools Teach Swimming

Written by Polly Aun
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 15:19

(AP) _ A South Carolina lawmaker wants most public schools to offer free swimming lessons after several drowning deaths in the Charleston area this spring.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported Wednesday that state Rep. Wendell Gilliard wants two years of swimming required for high school graduation.

His bill proposes schools offer free lessons if there is a public pool within 10 miles of the district. There is no provision for funding.

Charleston County School Superintendent Nancy McGinley says she looks forward to Gilliard’s leadership in finding money for the program.

Dorchester District 2 public information officer Pat Raynor says it would be tough to provide lessons for all 22,000 students in the district.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 17 June 2009 15:21 )

(Alternatively, this story could well be titled “Mommas, Don’t Let Yer Babies Grow Up To Be Teachers“. Otherwise they could find themselves in deep water (pun intended, indeed) when one of their students who was supposed to know how to swim – BECAUSE IT WAS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AS HIS/HER TEACHER TO DO SO AND THEY HAVE THE DIPLOMA TO PROVE THEY GRADUATED AND THEREFORE IT MUST BE YOUR FAULT – drowns. <sigh>)

So, first of all, this lawmaker has determined that the best and fullest possible life we can hope for – for ourselves AND for our children – is found in, well, legislation. “We are the government, and we know what is best for you. Resistance if futile, give up, give in, jump on the bandwagon, and we’ll take care of you – cradle to grave.

And, of course, this “offering” of the government through its school system is going to be free. Yep, that’s right folks, costs you nary a penny! ‘Cuz it’s provided by the government! And it’s all free. (We do, after all, live in a free country.)

Now, just to make sure everyone knows how to swim before they graduate high school, they must take TWO years of swimming lessons. I guess they intend to teach the physics involved, as well as musculo-skeletal analysis for every type of swim stroke known to man. I mean, what else could take TWO years? (I wonder what those who already know how to swim will do for these two years? Oh wait, maybe this means you CAN’T teach your own children to swim now – unless you have a permit or some such?)

Wait, hold on, the lessons are only free if there is a public pool within 10 miles of the school DISTRICT. I wonder how many districts that affects? And what if there isn’t a public pool within 10 miles of the district? Does it mean the district A) must build a pool(s) for its schools in order to meet this new gem of a legislative requirement, B) can charge (gasp!) for transportation to and from the nearest public pool, C) be exempt from the requirement altogether (surely I jest), or D) _________ (fill in the blank with your own suggestion)?

What about the public pools themselves? What requirements will be laid upon existing entities (cities, towns, counties, etc.) who (had the poor foresight to have) built a pool for its public’s use? I guess whatever costs are incurred to provide for this new school program must be “free” too.  Will the owning municipality or county, whose public facility has been commandeered, be exempt from any and all possible liability as a result of this new program? And what of the poor schools, who are already at the mercy of legal action of all kinds brought by anyone whose child may have been sneezed on while at school? Or on their way to school. Or on their way home from school. Or at the mall when they were supposed to be at school. Or….

This could go on for a while, I think, so I’ll give it a rest. At least there was some semblance of sanity on the part of the school personnel who were allowed to comment. (Although I personally think they were being far, far too kind – they should have just come out and said what an idiotic idea this is.) However, the superintendent must not have been listening very closely (probably laughing uncontrollably in her head) when she replied that she looked forward to the legislator’s “leadership in finding money for the program” – clearly she missed that it is, well, FREE!


  1. March 26, 2010 at 12:04 am

    Now that’s just downright funny.

  2. Kerri Lynn
    March 29, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Robby, Love the post! There’s nothing like the chance to ridicule the ridiculous. How are you two doing? We here are doing well and 12 weeks away from the birth of number 4. Life is exciting and the pace is never slow. Blessings on your day, and a hearty “howdy” to your sweet wife. Kerri Lynn

  3. Robby
    March 29, 2010 at 8:49 am

    Hey you! Number 4? Great news! After this one, only 8 more to go! 🙂 So glad to hear you all are doing well – or are at least taking all the excitement & pace in stride. You guys are young enough to handle it! Judy & I are doing well, and I will most certainly pass the hearty howdy along. Give our love to all!

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