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Day Care Rejects Invitation to Return to Pool, and Will Sue

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CNN: A largely minority day care center Monday refused an offer to return to a swim club in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid allegations of racism.

day care suing pool
Swimming privileges for about 65 children from Creative Steps were revoked after one visit to the club, on June 29. Some black and Hispanic children said white club members made racist comments to them, asking why black children were there and raising concerns that "they might steal from us."

"Parents, do you want your children to return to the Valley Swim Club?" Alethea Wright of Creative Steps asked parents who attended a news briefing with her Monday. When none of them raised their hands, Wright said, "As you can see, the vote is unanimous."

The swim club, in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, extended the invitation on Sunday to return.

The day care center had originally contracted to use the pool, but the club canceled the agreement and returned the day care center's $1,950 check without explanation.

Swim club director John Duesler said last week that safety and crowding -- not racism -- prompted the cancellation. The club canceled contracts with two other day care centers because of safety and crowding, he said.

Wright has disputed that the pool was overcrowded.

Attorneys for the day care center said they will sue the swim club in a few days.

"The children's best interests are not being served," lawyer Carolyn Nichols said. "Simple lip service does not amount to change."

The day care center also wants the resignation of all swim club board members and the removal of any club members who made the racist comments, Nichols said.

"Our goal is to ensure that this type of behavior never happens again," she said.

Wright has 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.

The club has been subpoenaed by the state Human Relations Commission, which has begun a fact-finding investigation, said Bernice Duesler, the club director's wife.

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5 comments so far | Post a comment now
Rachel July 15, 2009, 9:14 AM

Big Suprise now they intend to sue! It seems the kids having a place to swim has become less priority now that dollar signs have entered the picture. Its ridiculous that people feel they have the right to tie up the court system when they’re slighted. Get over it take that hoard of kids back and realize that noone black or white would feel comfortable with that many kids in

tiger woods July 15, 2009, 2:31 PM

SAFETY WAS NOT THE REASON. THE CLUB SAID THEY CAN INVITE THE KIDS BACK BY SELECTING A LESS CROWDED TIME OR HIRE MORE LIFE GUARDS OR LET THE KIDS IN SHIFTS OF 30 AT A TIME. THE CLUB SHOULD OF FOUND A SOLUTION BEFORE ACCEPTING THE CHECK OR DURING THE FIRST SWIM OR AFTER THE FIRST SWIM. THE CLUB RETURNED THE CHECK BECAUSE THEY SAID THEY CANNOT FIND A SOLUTION TO SAFETY; NOW, THEY SUGGESTS THERE ARE SOLUTIONS. HOW CAN ANYONE BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS NO SOLUTION TO THE SAFETY ISSUE?

tigewr woods July 15, 2009, 2:49 PM

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/15/swim.club.problems/
The swim club has been subpoenaed by Pennsylvania’s Human Relations Commission, which has begun a fact-finding investigation, said the wife of the club’s director, Bernice Duesler.

She told CNN on Tuesday night that the club “could not handle a lawsuit.”

“We don’t have the money. We’re just a small club. We’re volunteers,” she said. “I hope we can teach our children a lesson — that you should admit errors. We should have done things differently. And if there are differences, we can overcome them.”

Sue Anderson July 23, 2009, 8:10 PM

I knew it!!! It is about money. And get a free trip to Disney.

Jackie September 18, 2009, 10:06 PM

I can’t believe what I’m reading! I do not agree with racist comments made to children, but “The day care center also wants the resignation of all swim club board members and the removal of any club members who made the racist comments, Nichols said.” blows my mind. People have a constitutionally protected right to free speech! I don’t care how many of those people made “racist” remarks. They don’t lose their rights because their opinion is not politically correct. (And, no, I am not racist.) Just last week, I defended my pregnant niece from a black teenager who was making filthy sexual remarks to her. What did I get for my trouble? Accused of “being prejudicial” by HIS mother. I would have reprimanded a white boy who spoke to a girl like that just as quickly, but that didn’t matter. I feel like I am a victim of racism FAR more often than I have ever (which is never) been racist toward someone else. (Although I can see how crap like this MAKES people racist.)



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