* A family in Hephzibah, Georgia is demanding answers after the sudden death of a 4-year-old child 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 big fan of the superhero Black Panther and loved playing with his siblings, ages 11, 3, and 16. His mother Dori said they decided to take their son to the instructor, Lexie Ten Huisen who owns “Swim With Lexie” because the boy’s older sister took lessons with her two years ago.
Dori explained that she was told she couldn’t stay and watch the lesson because it might “distract the kids.” She said she understood because she is a hairdresser and knows that children can act differently when their parents are around.
The first lesson went well but during the second lesson on June 14, Dori Scott sat in her car waiting for the lesson to end. Then she said a relative knocked frantically on her window. “She said, ‘Come see how your baby’s doing,'” she told TODAY Parents. “I immediately lost it because I saw it in his eyes.”
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The family said they didn’t get an explanation from swimming instructor Lexie TenHuisen — only a Venmo refund for the lesson, which Dori Scott called a “slap in the face.” A condolence card from TenHuisen arrived 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 the students had to pick up rings from the bottom of the pool (which she said Izzy was “proud” to do), she realized that the class was two minutes long, so she asked the students to then swim a group lap, according to the sheriff’s report. TenHuisen said she left the pool when she thought all the children were out, according to the sheriff’s report, as parents arrived to pick up their children.
According to the sheriff’s report, when TenHuisen heard his granddaughter yell, “There’s a kid in the pool!” she jumped to retrieve Israel, which was limp. He had been at the bottom of the deep end, which TenHuisen said made the police about eight feet.
TenHuisen did not respond to parents’ request for comment today via voicemail and text message.
The instructor told police the last time she saw Izzy was when she helped him during the ring drill and after that he was playing in water at the chest level.