California lawmakers on Monday passed a bill banning any new swimming lessons offered in the state for a week beginning Wednesday.
The ban would not apply to those that are offered in partnership with other local schools or nonprofits.
The bill passed the state Assembly by a vote of 51-34 and the state Senate by a voice vote of 42-3.
California’s ban was modeled after an initiative signed by Gov.
Jerry Brown (D) in 2014 that banned all swimming lessons for a few days starting Monday.
While there have been no fatalities or injuries associated with the ban, it has been met with widespread criticism.
Many parents and community leaders have said it has hurt the quality of life for children who are learning about the water.
On Wednesday, the state Department of Education said it was considering a proposal that would allow a handful of other local school districts to offer swimming lessons.
The proposed legislation was first introduced in November.
State Sen. Jim Woodworth (D-Berkeley) sponsored the legislation and said in a statement the measure would “prevent some of the harmful practices that have led to many injuries and deaths at the hands of people who are not trained in safe swimming practices.”
The legislation passed the Assembly by voice vote.
Woodworth, who is also a member of the Senate’s education committee, said in the statement that the ban would help prevent a dangerous cycle of over-training and over-conditioning that can lead to overuse injuries, mental illness, and other issues.
In a statement issued by his office, Brown said the legislation is needed to help protect the health and safety of California’s children.
“The people of California deserve a safer and more enjoyable water environment, and they deserve to learn how to swim safely,” he said in his statement.