LETTERS

Pool policy change stokes prejudice

Posted

To the Editor:

I learned to swim at the Budlong Pool, just as countless young people have through the years. In summer's peak, community pools serve a vital function: to cool down, stay active and get together.

Following an alleged youth altercation at the pool on June 28, Mayor Fung announced a residency requirement in order to limit those from other municipalities: those his Facebook statement infers are “unsafe” (despite the fact that at least one of the arrests was a Cranston resident).

What kind of future does a young person imagine when told by adult leadership they are “unsafe?” Mayors can shape policies that create opportunity and give youth a sense of belonging and purpose. It has been documented that summer programs help reduce violence during the hottest months, when it is known to peak. Instead, Mayor Fung has stoked community prejudice and limited this important gathering place.

With this ban, everyone loses.

Lindsay Crudele

Dorchester, Massachusetts

Comments

2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
KimLorene

Oh please. The pool should never have been open to non-Cranston residents in the first place. And, after this incident, it became apparent that this policy needed to put in place. And, I had a family member have a bike stolen, by someone that was at the pool ( and not a cranston resident).

Wednesday, July 10
Laurie Scripsack

As a former member of the Cranston Diversity Committee under Mayor Laffey and a a member of the Pool Committee under Mayor Trafficante when the approved bond was in danger of being diverted and the pool staying closed, I completely understand where Lindsay Crudele is coming from. Let me give you an example of a program I conducted in and elementary school in Cranston. For years, Cranston residents have heard many times that "Providence kids were getting into the pool" I asked these third graders have they heard this. Over half the class raised their hands. I asked how the adults in their lives knew the children were from Providence? Have they followed them home? Did they ask children if they were from Providence? A child enthusiastically raised his hand . "I know, because they are black" I then asked what was the reason the adults in their lives didn't want black people in the pool. Another child raised their hand and stated "because they are bad and they steal" Now I know this was 20 years ago and our area is a lot more diverse than it use to be. Although, subliminal prejudices remain. I hear constantly "the area has changed, it use to be so much better" If anything the area has never looked better as I am a life long Cranston resident. I would definitely had understood if Mayor Fung stated that there are too many people attending the pool to adequately monitor the pool and since it is the Cranston residents paying for the pool, the city was going to change the policy. It is playing into a a prejudice when he stated " he had it with the PUNKS from out of the city" We all know what city he is talking about. Also to suggest it was Utopia in the past when it was only Cranston residents is not accurate. Kids have acted up in the past, got kicked out and told not to come back. When I was young we were passing our pool tags through the fence and giving it to whoever. The incident that sparked this change in policy was about kids acting like punks. It had nothing to do with where they were from. This is grand standing and playing into a long standing prejudice that has been there for years. Again, just say we need to reduce the attendance to better monitor the pool, and I find it suspicious the way it was handled.

Tuesday, July 23