‘He’s still living some way’: How Izzy’s Law will save other kids

Georgia authorities say a swimming instructor has been arrested in the drowning of 4-year-old...
Georgia authorities say a swimming instructor has been arrested in the drowning of 4-year-old Israel “Izzy” Scott.(WRDW)
Published: May. 3, 2023 at 3:14 PM EDT
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - Eleven months months after the tragic drowning of 4-year-old Izzy Scott, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill to create safety guidelines for private swim lessons and teachers.

Izzy’s family lost him to a drowning last year during his second swimming lesson in Burke County.

For Dori Watson, Izzy’s mother, the bill signing means other moms won’t have to feel her pain.

“I still feel like he’s still living some way,” she said.

“We’re still looking at pictures every day, videos every day,” she said.


The instructor who was giving the lesson when Scott drowned, Lexie Tenhuisen, was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

“You shouldn’t have to worry about something like this happening to your child,” Watson said.

Many family photos show Izzy playing the water- or wearing a superhero mask and a cape.

“I kind of look at it like he’s being a superhero to all the kids that love water and want to take swim,” his mom said.

They’ve been pushing state lawmakers to create safety guidelines for private lessons and teachers.

The official signing ceremony was Wednesday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Max Burns, R-Sylvania, was proposed in honor of 4-year-old Izzy, who drowned on his second day of swimming lessons at a private pool in Burke County.


Izzy’s Law requires the Georgia Department of Public Health to develop a widely accessible and downloadable safety plan for aquatic activities based on the standards for nationally accredited swim instructors.

Specifically, Izzy’s Law will require that each swim instructor has a safety plan including but not limited to:

  • A necessary student-to-instructor ratio.
  • Presence of a secondary supervisor to assist in the safety of all swimmers.
  • Allowing all parents and guardians to be present at private swim lessons.

What they’re saying

Sen. Max Burns: “I am honored to see Gov. Kemp sign this important measure with bipartisan support. ... The Scott family has advocated through a period of insurmountable grief for the sake of children in our state and this law is a reflection of that hard work. I am humbled to have worked with them through every step of the legislative process.”

Sen. Harold Jones: This piece of legislation honors the life and family of Izzy Scott. Izzy’s death shook our entire community. I am so grateful to the Scott family and Sen. Burns for their role in this important measure that will impact not just the city of Augusta, but the entire state of Georgia.”