Philadelphia Swim Club Accused of Racial Discrimination against Kids
When children from the Creative Steps Day Care arrived at the Valley Swim Club in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania on June 29, they received a less than welcomed response from club members. Directors of the Creative Steps Day Care reported Thursday that members of the private swim club made racist comments about the center’s children, and the club then cancelled their swimming privileges.Creative Steps Day care had contracted with the
Valley Swim Club to use the club’s swimming pool once a week. However, during their first visit some of the children said they heard club members asking why African American children were there. One of the boys told the Philadelphia Inquirer that a woman at the club said she feared the children “might do something” to her child. Days later, the day care center’s $ 1,950 check was returned without explanation, said Alethea Wright, a director for the center.
The stepfather of one of the children filed a complaint against the club with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. As for the Valley Swim Club’s part in the matter, they are disputing the allegations of racism. They responded to these allegations by posting a statement on their website, “We had originally agreed to invite the camps to our facility, knowing full well that the children from the camps were from multi-ethnic backgrounds. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that we underestimated the capacity of our facilities and realized that we could not accommodate the number of children from these camps. All the funds were returned to the camps and we will re-evaluate the issue at a later date to determine whether it can be feasible in the future.”
A small group of protestors gathered in front of the club Thursday after the club’s President, John Duesler stated
to two Philadelphia television stations that the children had changed “the complexion” and “atmosphere” of the club.
Civil Rights Activists in the Pennsylvania area have agreed to investigate these allegations to the fullest.
For more information see: http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/09/philly.pool/index.html?eref=rss_topstories