Youth Services Law

Well, That Was Inevitable

Posted In Miscellaneous

CBS News reports that the Pennsylvania day camp that was excluded from a local swim club plans to file suit, alleging racial discrimination.  I do not know enough about the facts to comment on the case, but there should be some intriguing issues about the responsibility of a corporate body for the comments of individual members.  

Camille Paglia offers an interesting perspective that might make the case relevant to more camps and day care centers that I realized at first.  She speculates that the real issue may have been, not race, but income disparities:  "Urban working-class and suburban middle-class children often have quite different styles of play -- as I know from present observation as well as from my Syracuse youth, when I regularly biked to the public pool in Thornden Park. . . .  Were the mothers who pulled their kids out of the pool that day really reacting to skin color or what they, accurately or not, perceived to be an overcrowded, dangerous disorder?"

Again, I do not know the facts in this particular case, but there is no doubt that children's differing styles of play always pose a challenge for youth organizations.    It's another of those choose-your-poison dilemmas.  Watching a child too closely will garner complaints that you are picking on him or her.  But if you do not watch closely enough, you will get complaints that you allow bullying.  It's a tough balance, and there never are any good answers except in hindsight.

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