TJ’s laws, filed after 6-year-old’s drowning death in St. Louis County, aim to protect kids at camp
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) – Following a News 4 Investigation, a pair of bills were filed at the Missouri State Capitol aimed at protecting kids at summer camps.
TJ Mister, 6, drowned at the Kennedy Center Recreation Center pool in July 2022. When Olga and Travone Mister sent their son to camp last summer, they were unaware that Missouri doesn’t regulate them.
“We’re gonna make sure that he didn’t die for nothing, he’s going to make a change,” said Olga Mister.
The Misters went to Jefferson City Monday to help introduce a new house bill, known as TJ’s Law, backed by State Rep. Michael Burton. News 4 Investigates asked Burton about TJ’s drowning months ago, and he said he promised the family he’d make this happen.
TJ’s Law would require camps to be licensed like other childcare programs in the state. Had the law been in place before, TJ’s parents believe it could have saved his life.
St. Louis County Executive Dr. Sam Page repeatedly dodge questions from News 4 Investigations, so when we heard he was holding an unreleased press conference, we tried again.
“We’ve called, we’ve emailed, we’ve tried to ask about the summer camp drowning and what’s being done to ensure that kids going to summer camps are going to be safe?” asked News 4 Investigative Reporter Susan El Khoury.
“Summer camps in St. Louis County are run under the procedures of the county,” answered Page. “We’re going to do everything in our power to make sure that the kids that are participating in our camps are safe.”
“Will there be things like swim tests being done?” El Khoury also asked.
“I think we will wait till this investigation is done,” Page answered.
News 4 Investigates continues asking Page’s office who is leading that investigation and when the results will be made public. He answered, “I’m not aware of anything that is going to change moving forward we’ll learn, we’ll learn from the investigation.”
As the bill was introduced in the Missouri House on Monday, lawmakers held a moment of silence for TJ.
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