A mother seeks answers after her four-year-old boy died during a supervised swim lesson in Georgia last month. His family says an instructor with a history of being “distracted” and not following proper guidelines likely led to the boy’s drowning, TSR Investigates’ Justin Carter exclusively hears their side.
Dori Scott said her son was “nervous” when she signed him up for a week of supervised swim lessons last month, but also excited to start. Israel was only on his second day of lessons when the tragic incident occurred at a residential pool back on June 14.
She told TSR Investigates that the instructor, Lexie Currington-Tenhusen had told her that parents were not allowed to sit in on swimming lessons, so for the first two days she sat in her car while she waited for Israel. Things went well enough on the first day, however on day two, Scott said her worst nightmare came true.
Emotional Witness Told Mother, “Come Get Your Baby”
“A lady comes and she knocks on my window. I’m sitting in the car and she’s like ‘Come get your baby,’ and when she said that, she said it kind of rude-like. Then I looked at her face and I just saw like tears in her eyes, so initially I knew something was wrong and I just started screaming.”
A nurse on scene performed CPR on the young boy after being found unresponsive in the pool, before being rushed by ambulance to an area hospital, where he later died, according to WFXG.
Although no foul play is suspected, authorities said the investigation as to whether criminal negligence is involved continues, Burke County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jimmy Wylds told the outlet.
Famed defense attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the Scott family, told TSR Investigates that they were refunded money by the instructor for the week’s lessons via Venmo, but has offered no apologies nor has she reached out to the devastated Scott family in the wake of Israel’s tragic passing.
TSR Investigates has reached out to the swimming instructor, but has yet to hear back as of Wednesday. Her personal and business Facebook pages have both been removed and her Instagram page has since been set to private.
“She has a list of of complaints from the region about her often being distracted, using her son as an employee who’s not consistently on the premises, and not following the policy guidelines for supervising children, so there is a reputation in the community,” the family’s attorney told TSR Investigates.
Merritt added that the Burke County Sheriff’s Office has also failed to provide a full police report to the Scott family. He told TSR Investigates that the case is currently in the investigatory phase as they look to interview witnesses and determine how the system failed Izzy.
Forever Haunted By Facebook Post of Israel’s “Nervous” First Day of Swim Lessons
Dori told TSR Investigates that she will now forever be haunted by a Facebook post she made with photos of Israel’s first day of swim lessons. On June 13 she wrote in the Facebook caption:
“My big boy’s first big day of swim lessons. He said he’s a little nervous,” Israel’s mother, Dori Scott, captioned a Facebook post.
TSR Investigates found that in the State of Georgia where Izzy died, swimming supervisors must have at least one supervisor on hand if the children are not accustomed to or are afraid of the water.
Dori, Israel’s mother, says the lack of closure regarding Israel’s death has kept her awake at night, as the family continues to look for answers that led to his tragic passing.
Racist Hecklers Are Coming to The Swimming Instructor’s Defense, Family Says
Adding to their frustrations, the Scott family says that racist hecklers have been coming to the swimming instructor’s defense on social media, with one person writing “SMH, I would definitely pick and choose each and every child I taught in the future. No more Tyrones.”
TSR did reach out to the Burke’s County Sheriff’s Office. They said an investigation is still ongoing and that they have spoken to the swim instructor as part of their investigation. They added that the police report will be available once they wrap up the investigation.
For more details, watch the entire episode of TSR Investigates HERE.