In 2014, Demariont'e Brown-Elliot, a seventh grader at Nathan Hale Magnet Middle School in Omaha, was found at the bottom of the deepend during swim class.
His teacher attempted CPR, but the 12-year-old boy died the next day in the hospital, according to reports.
School officials said the teacher had taken a course in first aid and CPR. However, it was unclear how much time passed between those classes. Omaha Public Schools admitted no wrongdoing but agreed to a $250,000 settlement with the family.
Nebraska Sen. Justin Wayne invoked the tragedy during a hearing for Legislative Bill 398 before the state Education Committee last month. The bill simply states that anyone serving as a swim instructor or lifeguard at a public school should be certified by a nationally recognized aquatic training program in swimming instruction, first aid, drowning prevention and CPR, and that "each person shall be recertified annually while he or she is so employed."
If passed, the law would surpass the Red Cross's requirement of guards to certify every two years to stay current.
With no state law on the books, lifeguard policies vary across school districts.
Similar measures have been proposed in other states, such as Connecticut. The argument against them has always been that certification fees would further strain budgets.