*A Hephzibah, Georgia family is pleading for answers after the sudden death of a 4-year-old who died in June during a swimming lesson.
According to his parents, Dori and Walt Scott the young boy (Israel ‘Izzy’ Scott) was an amazing kid who was a huge fan of the Black Panther superhero and loved to play with his siblings, ages 11, 3, and 16. His mother Dori said they decided to take their son to the instructor, Lexie TenHuisen who is the owner of “Swim With Lexie” because the boy’s older sister took lessons from her two years ago.
Dori explained that she was told she couldn’t stay and watch the lesson because she might “distract the children.” She said she understood because she’s a hairstylist and knows that children can act differently when their parents are around.
The first lesson went smoothly but during the second lesson on June 14, Dori Scott sat in her car waiting for the lesson to be over. Then she said a parent knocked frantically on her window. “She said, ‘Come check on your baby,’” she told TODAY Parents. “I immediately lost it because I saw it in her eyes.”
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Wait. There’s more (via TODAY Parents) …
The family said they have not gotten an explanation from Lexie TenHuisen, the swimming instructor — only a Venmo refund for the class, which Dori Scott called “a slap in the face.” A condolence card from TenHuisen came two weeks later, the Scotts said. “It wasn’t an apology,” Walt Scott told TODAY Parents.
TenHuisen told police that after an exercise in which students were asked to pick up rings from the bottom of the pool (which she said Izzy was “proud” to do), she realized class was going two minutes over, so she asked students to then swim a lap in a group, according to the sheriff’s report. TenHuisen said she left the pool when she thought all the kids were out, the sheriff’s report says, as parents were arriving to pick up their children.
According to the sheriff’s report, when TenHuisen heard her granddaughter shout, “There’s a kid in the pool!” she jumped in to retrieve Israel, who was limp. He had been at the bottom of the deep end, which TenHuisen told police was an estimated eight feet.
TenHuisen did not respond to TODAY Parents’ request for comment via voicemail and text message.
The instructor told police that the last time she saw Izzy was when she helped him during the ring exercise and after that, he was playing around in chest-level water.