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Minnesota student questions swimming requirement to graduate

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Captain Obvious, May 15, 2013.

  1. High school seniors in Detroit Lakes, Minn., have to pass a swimming class in order to graduate. One student, who can swim, is fighting it. The school board is likely to change the requirement to integrate swimming with ninth-grade PE.

    Interesting matter, because knowing how to swim might save a life in that area. Plenty of chance to accidentally drive in a lake in the area, as the county has more than 800 lakes.

  2. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    One would assume they - and more importantly, their parents - knew about the requirement long before their senior year.

    Throw them out in the middle of Detroit Lake, if they make it back to shore then they can graduate.
  3. NDJournalist

    NDJournalist Active Member

    If one can "accidentally" drive into a lake, then one shouldn't be qualified to drive.
  4. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    If they protested algebra, I'd sign up.
  5. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    40 years ago (now) when I was in HS, we were required to take one full year of freshman PE and one additional quarter of aquatics to graduate.

    The year of freshman PE included several weeks of swimming.

    As I recall they would waive the requirement of an aquatic elective if you could pass a basic test (swim 400 yards, tread water for 30 mins or something like that). I think as part of your grade in the freshman PE class you got an 'aquatic notation' if you passed the test.
  6. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Up there most cars wind up in the water because they leave their ice houses on the lake too late in the spring.
  7. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    Swimming is a very basic life skill that, if at all reasonably possible, children should be required to learn.

    It's amazing what a difference simply being familiar with water can make. I have a friend who grew up super, super, super sheltered. His parents had never let him in a body of water larger than a bath tub, no swimming pool, no kiddie pool, no lake, no creek. Nothing.

    One time a few years after high school he lied to his parents and came to the nearby lake with us to play on waverunners. He got on one, then had to jump off because it wasn't starting. He was wearing a life jacket and we were in about three feet of water. He slipped on the bottom when he landed and kind of fell into the water face first, and he just laid there, arms spread out, floating face down. After 10 or 12 seconds one of my friends grabbed him by the neck and pulled him up. Having never been in water before, he had absolutely no idea how to handle himself or even stand up, totally freaked out and paralyzed himself. We had no idea he was so bad in water, and neither did he. He damn near drowned while we were all standing there looking at him, in 3 feet of water.

    He was so ill-prepared by his parents for life in the real world, even at 20 years old, that it was damn near criminal. You should have seen the first time we took him to a strip club. When he was 26.

    It's easy for people to think they'll never need to know how to swim, but people drowned in some jaw-dropping stupid ways, ways they can't ever expect and ways that would be entirely prevented if they were at least familiar with the very basics of swimming. If it's at all possible to teach kids, it should absolutely happen.
  8. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    MIT requires its students to pass a swimming test before graduation.
  9. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    Yes, because anybody who gets in a car accident is at fault.
  10. NDJournalist

    NDJournalist Active Member

    You can't just unilaterally require a swimming test to graduate. You just can't. If you do that, how do you live with denying those in wheelchairs degree just because they're paralyzed, can't walk, etc?
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Sure you can. School districts across the country have done it for decades.

    Those with physical disabilities making compliance unrealistic have the requirement waived, just as they may have other PE requirements waived.
  12. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I had to swim three lengths of a pool in order to graduate college. I think I put it off until junior or senior year. I had no idea why they had the requirement, but they did.
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