Sunday, July 12, 2009

Swim Club Invites Kids Back


Well that was fast. Philadelphia-based swim club The Valley Club has invited Creative Steps day camp back after allegations of racist remarks by white club members about the largely black and hispanic kids from the day care.

While club director Bernice Duesler maintained the reason for the children being removed from pool was overcrowding issues, Creative Steps Director Alethea thinks differently.

"They should have done that before," she said.
Wright has repeatedly lambasted the club for its tepid response to the charges and said the children in her care were "emotionally damaged" by the incident.
"These children are scarred. How can I take those children back there?" she said.
However, Wright's lawyer, Carolyn Nicholas, said the center will give the Valley Club's offer "due consideration" once it is received and looks forward to sitting down with the parties.
"The children are our primary concern," Nicholas told CNN.
Swimming privileges for about 65 children from Creative Steps were revoked after their first visit June 29. Some children said white members of the club made racist comments to the children, asking why "black children were there" and raising concerns that "they might steal from us."
Days later, the day-care center's $1,950 check was returned, Wright said.
Club director John Duesler told CNN that he had underestimated the amount of children who would participate, and the club was unable to supervise that many kids. He called his club "very diverse," and said it had offered to let day camps in the Philadelphia area use his facility after budget cuts forced some pools in the area to close.
Wright has rejected the camp's contention that the swim club's pool was overcrowded. The club had accepted a 10-to-1 ratio of children to adults and was considering adding up to three lifeguards, according to e-mails obtained by CNN.
But John Duesler said last week that the Valley Club also canceled contracts with two other day-care centers because of safety and overcrowding issues.
The Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission launched an investigation last week after allegations of racism at the Valley Club. The commission said that as part of any investigation, the two sides eventually could be asked to sit down face-to-face with its investigators.
"We always encourage opposing parties to communicate with one another if they feel they can resolve these issues amicably," Commission Chairman Stephen Glassman said.

I'm with Wright on this one. The club's earlier statement about the fear that black and hispanic kids would change it's "complexion and atmosphere" shows some racial bias. The sudden about face by the club looks more like damage control than a sincere change of heart. Hopefully an apology to the kids will happen as well as reconciliation between the two organizations. 'Cause lawd know they don't want the twin terrors known as Jesse and Al to descend upon them with protests.

2 comments:

ToddyEnglish said...

Honestly, it would be a cold day in hell before I accepted the invitation.
Then again, I'd go just to piss them all off.
It is unfortunate that those kids had to learn about racism like that.

thegayte-keeper said...

TO SEE THAT LITTLE BOY ON TV CRYING...I WOULDN'T GO BACK...

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