Family sits down with News 12 to demand justice in 4-year-old’s drowning death

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The I-TEAM is digging deeper into a report revealing what happened on the day Israel “Izzy” Scott died.

The 4-year-old drowned on his second day of swimming lessons, but now his family believes there were warning signs on day one.

The Burke County Sheriff decided not to press criminal charges against the swim instructor, so the case is now in the hands of the district attorney.

Izzy’s family is speaking out, and they hope DA Jared Williams is watching.

It’s been more than a month since Izzy went to be with Jesus.

“The whole future, snatched away from him in one second,” said his grandmother Naomi Jones.

He’ll never graduate school or celebrate another Christmas or birthday party. Photos and videos now serve as life-rafts to precious memories, as grief isn’t the only journey Izzy’s family feels forced to navigate.

His Great-Aunt Lydia Glover Fields said: “We are fighting mad. We will not stop until Izzy gets justice and legislation is passed to save every other child from his watery grave.”

When Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams announced he wasn’t charging anyone in connection to Izzy’s death, she took a closer look at the case.

“There’s just too many things not adding up,” she said.

The I-TEAM also combed the 22-page report. In it, a child in the class references “a child coughing” who “got onto the concrete once out of the pool.”


Glover Fields says another aunt remembered Izzy telling her he swallowed a lot of water the first day.

“She was kind of playing with him and said, ‘Oh, so you’re trying to drink all the water in the pool?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I guess so, but I was coughing, and I was throwing up’.”

She believes that explains why Izzy, who loved the water, was afraid to go back the second day. According to the report, Izzy’s mother Dori told investigators he didn’t want to go to lessons that morning, even asking her, “What if I drown?”

“If it wasn’t child endangerment, you would have called Dori and said, ‘Look, he had a situation where he took on too much water’,” said Glover Fields. “‘I need you to watch him tonight and then make sure he’s good to come tomorrow’. This is the proper thing to do. But you didn’t do that. What did you do? You sat him on the concrete and resumed classes.”

Izzy’s grandmother worries the teacher isn’t physically strong enough to be teaching.

“She couldn’t even get Izzy out of the pool. That’s another thing,” said Jones.

Previous Coverage:

Family, friends put up memorial for 4-year-old who drowned

No decision made on charges in boy’s drowning, DA says

Parents, attorney open up about 4-year-old’s drowning death

Burke County sheriff speaks on 4-year-old’s drowning death

Authorities identify 4-year-old boy in drowning death

‘My heart has been ripped out’: 4-year-old drowns just after starting swimming lessons

Documents show at least five other people told deputies the swim teacher had to ask other adults to help her get Izzy out of the water.

Glover Fields said: “Why did you have a vacuum in the pool the entire time the kids were there?”

The report confirms it was visible in the pool when deputies arrived. Other people, including the swim teacher, told deputies it was in the pool as well. Izzy’s family believes the vacuum was a danger because it could have obstructed the teacher’s view, especially with ten children in the water.

Still, the family says they weren’t surprised the teacher wasn’t charged.

“We were getting posts where she was a citizen of the year. If you look at the documentation and evidence report, she went to talk to the sheriff’s wife, who she knew, and they suggested that she go and talk to the sheriff,” she said.

These are all things Izzy’s family hope DA Williams will take into consideration.

“Be fair, just be fair,” said jones. “Just do what you would do if it was your child.”

The swimming instructor, who hasn’t been charged, no longer lives in Burke County. She traveled from North Carolina to hold summer swim lessons in a backyard pool.

There were 10 kids in Izzy’s swim class. As we’ve reported, there are few, if any, regulations for private citizens who teach swim lessons for money.

Izzy’s family hopes his story will also inspire ‘Izzy’s Law’ so something like this doesn’t happen again. They believe it will also protect instructors too, so there will be a clear set of rules laid out so everyone is on the same page.

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