What to Know
- Report alleges that 2nd-graders taking part in swimming lessons at NYC fitness center changed in same locker room as often-naked adults
- An NY Post article alleges that club members, as well as teachers, were in the locker room where they saw the children naked and vice versa
- Asphalt Green offers the “Waterproofing” program to children in public schools, according to the NY Post
Parents of Sunset Park School students are stunned after learning that second-graders participating in swimming lessons at a Manhattan fitness center have shared a locker room with the club’s sometimes-naked adult members, according to a report.
An NY Post article alleges that club members, as well as teachers, were in the locker room where they saw the children naked and vice versa.
Eujin Tang, principal of the Brooklyn-based public school, allegedly praised the weekly lessons that take place at Asphalt Green in Battery Park City in a June letter to parents.
Tang allegedly told the parents they could not opt their students out of the program, according to NY Post's source. However, the article says, in an about-face Tang later said the swimming lessons were not mandatory.
“Swim lessons save lives, and this program helps ensure children, regardless of background, have access to them," the city's DOE said in a statement to News 4. "Families, students and teachers have expressed their love for this program, and the principal has addressed any concerns to ensure all second graders have access to this opportunity.”
In a statement to NBC New York, Asphalt Green said that they have provided the "free and low-cost weekly swimming lessons to tens of thousands of public school students, in an environment that is safe, educational, and fun" for the past 25 years.
"The program serves roughly 90% children of color, and is instrumental in preventing drowning, which is the second leading cause of death in children and disproportionately affects children in these communities," the statement read. "Asphalt Green is proud to continue teaching the essential life skill of swimming to thousands of New York City students each year."
A source close to the program said that participating schools are responsible for transportation from the school to the facility, and for supervising children in the locker rooms.
The organization said it offered the use of private family changing rooms to allay any concerns, the article says.