The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission issued a finding of probable cause Tuesday that racism was involved in the decision last June by a suburban Philadelphia swim club to revoke privileges of a largely minority day care center.
The commission ordered monetary damages for humiliation and embarrassment and a civil penalty of not more than $50,000.
The decision noted that none of the club’s 155 paid members this year was African-American.
Last year, according to the decision, there were “179 paid memberships, none of whom were African American.”
In addition, the decision noted that in 2009, the Valley Club “made a concerted effort to expand the geographic range of its membership by engaging in a marketing campaign…. The Respondent efforts were mainly directed at areas with overwhelmingly Caucasian populations…. The Respondent made no effort to direct such marketing efforts at areas with significant African American populations….”
“It’s an invitation to sit down with our staff and have the parties settle their differences,” said Stephen Glassman, chairman of the commission, of the 33-page decision. “If they don’t, it will go on to a public hearing, a trial.”
Black Kids And Parents Reject Invitation To Return To Pool [7/14/2009, 10:55 a.m.]
A largely minority day care center Monday refused an offer to return to a swim club in suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, amid allegations of racism.
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.