Phoenix, Arizona apparently has a number of public pools. Those pools need lifeguards. That seems perfectly reasonable. I would feel much more comfortable knowing that if my children were swimming that there would be someone who could save them in a case of emergency. This is something that I feel my tax dollars should be used for.
Well, they have decided that the pool of people to choose from for these positions isn't diverse enough. So they have decided to make an effort to hire according to the color bar instead of competency.
"The kids in the pool are all either Hispanic or black or whatever, and every lifeguard is white," she says, "and we don't like that. The kids don't relate; there's language issues."
Martinez turns to a Latina student next to her. "Do you speak Spanish?" she asks. "We need more lifeguards who can speak Spanish."
Again, this is something that I don't really have a problem with especially when they say the more than 90% of the people who use these pools are minorities. But, and this is a big but, they don't seem to care if the kids are really qualified to do the job.
As the teens swim laps at Alhambra, it's clear many haven't had much formal training. But the coaches of the course aren't fazed and are prepared to put in the time to teach.
"Honestly, I have a little bit a fear of the water, and I wanted to overcome that fear," says high school junior Jesus Jimenez. He didn't grow up going to pools with his family but likes the idea of lifeguarding.
"It is nice to have the satisfaction of knowing that if somebody is in trouble you can save them at any time," he says.
If he is selected to be a lifeguard, other pool staff will work with him on his swimming skills all summer.
Um, why you would send your child to a pool that had lifeguards that weren't really qualified to save your child in a case of emergency? I think it is wonderful that the city is putting an effort in to teach minorities better swimming skills. Not only is a swimming a great form of exercise, I do believe it is a skill that everyone should have. But you don't take unqualified people and put them in a position that will affect the safety of the general public simply because of their skin color. Yet one more example of the dumbing down of America. We are teaching these children that skin color is more important than skills and safety.
I bet there is going to be a group of attorney's lined up once the first person drowns. I hope that the city has paid up their insurance premiums, they are going to need it. My advice to the parents who use this pool, go somewhere else or find another activity for your children that doesn't have as much as a risk.