PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The U.S. Department of Justice is reviewing the case of a suburban Philadelphia swim club that has been accused of racial discrimination.
John Duesler, who is the president of The Valley Club in Huntingdon Valley, maintains that race had nothing to do with the club's decision to ask a Philadelphia day camp not to bring children back to the club to swim. The children are black and Hispanic. Duesler maintains that the issue was too many children for the number of lifeguards on duty and that many of the children who were at the club June 29 couldn't swim.
Justice Department spokesman Alejandro Miyar said Friday that the review will determine whether the department's Civil Rights Division would officially investigate the matter.
The children from the Creative Steps day camp in northeast Philadelphia paid $1900 to The Valley Swim Club. Executive director Alethea Wright said Wednesday three children told her they heard members of The Valley Club asking what Blacks were doing there.
Wright says the club refunded the camp's swimming fees without explanation several days later.
Club President John Duesler said in a statement that "there was concern that a lot of kids would change the complexion … and the atmosphere of the club."
According to NBC Philadelphia, Girard College, a private boarding school for children of low-income and single parent homes, allowed the Creative Steps camp use of their facilities. The owners of a local ice cream company treated the campers to a day of candy and ice cream making, as well.