This is a letter I did not ever want to have to write.
About a year ago, The Columbian published another letter of mine bemoaning the lack of lifeguards, pulled for budgetary reasons, from the Klineline Pond outdoor swimming area. A little girl nearly drowned back then, but was — almost miraculously — saved.
About a year later, the worst happened and a 13-year-old boy drowned in the pond in late August. He was not in the “swimming area,” but since nothing is cordoned off any longer or clearly marked, and there is sometimes no adult supervision whatsoever, this is hardly surprising.
Anyone who has been to Klineline Pond in the summer knows it is a disaster waiting to happen. Providing life jackets for kids to use is a lame half-measure, and life jackets often give false confidence.
We are often told that we live in the greatest nation on Earth, the wealthiest and most powerful, but we are apparently too cheap and too stupid to provide the most basic protection for our children. Personally, I’d rather live in a country where people cared more about one another and their children. How many kids have to die before someone does the right thing and brings back the lifeguards?