All legislative efforts are funded personally by Dr. & Mrs. Chang. The Foundation supports their efforts.
Need for Early Childhood Group Swim Instruction Safety Standards
In the early morning hours of February 11, 2018, three-year-old Mitchell Chang’s heart beat for the last time. He died from complications of drowning at Love to Swim School the previous day. The very place that Mitchell was supposed to learn a life-saving skill ultimately brought his death.
He died because of a dangerous environment created by improper staffing, lack of adequate safety standards, poor implementation of what little standards were in place, and inadequately trained employees. The employees present that night were set up to fail- and they did.
Love to Swim School’s policies and procedures for that night stated two lifeguards were to be present. There were informational flyers to parents with the word “lifeguards” on them. The swim school where Mitchell died was never able to produce any documentation that they employed a lifeguard position when Mitchell died. They instead trained staff as “water watchers.”
By misrepresenting training, certifications, and safety standards, Mitchell’s parents were denied accurate information that was needed to make an informed and educated decision on Love to Swim School. Instead, Dr. and Mrs. Chang believed what they were told and their precious child died.
After Mitchell’s death, his parents found out that the highly profitable swim school industry is not regulated in Texas. There is no oversight that verifies certification and credentialing. There are no minimum safety standards regarding student ratios or lifeguards. There is no database tracking children’s injuries sustained at swim schools or parent complaints.
Many for-profit swim schools use similar curriculums, in-house employee certification programs, and safety standards as Love to Swim School. The Chang Family is concerned that the lack of consequences and regulations will only allow for more of our state’s children to be unknowingly placed into these dangerous environments.
No parent should ever feel the devastation of their child dying due to the actions of a swim school. Where is the accountability and justice for Mitchell Chang?
2023 Legislative Efforts
Texas Representative Steve Allison & Texas Senator Judith Zaffirini filed accompanying bills, HB 1568 & SB 765, the "Mitchell Chang Swim Safety Act".
Swim instruction operator safety standards for those providing lessons to children 6 years of age or younger in a group of 3 or more students.
Licensing and registration of business, with searchable database system through TDLR.
Employee certification standards, such as CPR, Automated External Defibrillator, and swim instruction, through an outside recognized credentialing source.
Ensure employees and instructors present during swim instruction operating hours are not listed in the registry as a person who abused or neglected a child.