June 24, 2019
Issue: Stopping Discrimination
Wilmington, DE Pool Season Begins with New Anti-Discrimination Policies in Place
Swimmers to Benefit from Longer Pool Season, Additional Safeguards from Discrimination
WASHINGTON, DC — Today marks the opening of the first pool season in Wilmington, Delaware since the city settled a discrimination lawsuit with the Darul Amaanah Academy, a Wilmington-based Muslim youth center. Thanks to the efforts of the Darul Amaanah Academy staff and families, the city’s 2019 pool season will feature:
- Revised dress code policies for city-operated aquatic facilities, which ensure access for all patrons by expressly accommodating clothing worn for religious reasons or financial hardship
- Additional training to employees of city-operated aquatic facilities and prominent display of the new dress code policy at all city pools
- An extended pool season that lasts through Labor Day
Last summer, children attending the Darul Amaanah Academy were repeatedly harassed and denied access to public pools because of their modest religious clothing, such as headscarves, t-shirts, or leggings, which allegedly violated a “no-cotton” policy. In response, Muslim Advocates sent the city a cease and desist letter. Thereafter, having received no satisfactory response, Darul Amaanah staff, families, and children—represented by Muslim Advocates and co-counsel Cliff C. Gardner, Matthew P. Majarian, Bonnie W. David, Kaitlin E. Maloney and Haley S. Stern—filed suit in August 2018. This January, the city agreed to a settlement that ensures this kind of discrimination will never happen again and rewards all Wilmington families with an extended pool season.
“Today is a day to celebrate the work and bravery of the Darul Amaanah families in ensuring that their public pools are open and welcoming to all,” said Muslim Advocates Senior Staff Attorney Juvaria Khan. “Thanks to their efforts, now all Wilmington families can benefit from clear clothing policies, culturally competent staff and an extended pool season.”
Muslim Advocates is a national civil rights organization working in the courts, in the halls of power and in communities to halt bigotry in its tracks. We ensure that American Muslims have a seat at the table with expert representation so that all Americans may live free from hate and discrimination.