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Published February 19, 2014, 05:20 PM

Several metro schools reinforcing policies for swimming during school

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Several schools in the metro do have very serious policies when it comes to swimming during school hours. Both in West Fargo and Moorhead students are not in the pool unless a certified instructor is on deck.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Several schools in the metro do have very serious policies when it comes to swimming during school hours. Both in West Fargo and Moorhead students are not in the pool unless a certified instructor is on deck.

At Fargo South it's still extremely unclear how the school or district handles pool-related policies. District officials say two teachers were nearby at the time of Tuesday's accident, But would not tell me if either of those teachers are lifeguard certified and no mention of a lifeguard on deck.

According to West Fargo's pool supervisor, the school's policy would prohibit that from happening.

Marsha Dahl - West Fargo Pool Supervisor: "I'm sure that they don't have somebody like me in some of the schools."

Supervisor Marsha Dahl has been getting her hands wet around the West Fargo Pool for about 30 years. She says the serious situation at Fargo South emphasizes the importance of water safety and proper supervision.

Marsha Dahl: "Somebody that would just come on deck wouldn't know that. Then you're asking for trouble."

It has her thinking of things she can do better at her school, especially when young swimmers are in the water.

Marsha Dahl: "Then we've got school groups, special ed groups and stuff and then periodically, phy-ed."

Unlike Fargo South, West Fargo schools don't have swimming as part of their curriculum, but when classes are using the pool there are very strict rules in place.

Marsha Dahl: "20 to 1, so if there are over 20, there are two guards. No matter what, even if there's only 21."

Again, unlike Fargo South, there's never a time when a certified lifeguard isn't on the pool deck.

Marsha Dahl: "I scan the area, keep going back and forth like this."

It's all to make sure a swimmer isn't missing.

Marsha Dahl: "I count several times during the 45 minutes that they're in, just so I know that everybody is accounted for."

And especially when it comes to water, Dahl says it's vital to grasp the severity of safety hazards swimming beneath the surface and have a trained, extra eye in place - before it's too late.

Marsha Dahl: "It's really something that you wouldn't wish would ever happen to anybody and hoping for the best of the situation."

Swimming is part of the high school curriculum in Moorhead, and a physical education instructor certified in CPR teaches the course.

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