ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) - The Rapides Parish School Board is looking at whether it could offer low-cost swimming lessons for all students, whether or not they're at one of four schools with swimming pools.
The Town Talk reports that board member E.L. Paulk, who made the proposal, said some community members asked for such a program.
He says a recent drowning at Alexandria Senior High School shows there's a problem with students who cannot swim. The middle school student drowned during a party for the high school's Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps.
On Monday, six teenagers drowned in the Red River in Shreveport. Officials said none knew how to swim.
A recent study by USA Swimming found that 69 percent of black children cannot swim or swim poorly, compared to 41.8 percent of white children.