A Huntington Valley swim club is facing accusations of racial discrimination after 65 children from a Northeast Philadelphia day camp claim they heard prejudicial remarks by club members and later had their club membership rescinded.
The children, kindgergarten through 7th graders who attend the Creative Steps, Inc. day camp, showed up to the pool at The Valley Swim Club on June 29.
While the campers were swimming, Alethea Wright, executive director of Creative Steps, said three children came up to her and said they heard club members asking what African Americans were doing at the club.
Repeated attempts to reach club President John Duesler and other club officers were unsuccessful. A Philadelphia Inquirer reporter was asked to leave the club premises when he asked for a comment. NBC 10 reported today that Duesler made the following statement: "There was concern that alot of kids would change the complexion .....and the atmosphere of the club."
Several days after the incident, Wright said the camp's $1,950 check in membership fees to the swim club was refunded, meaning the children no longer had access to the pool. She said Duesler did not provide a reason for the refund.