Skip to comments.In Phoenix, A New Quest For Diverse Public Pool Lifeguards
Posted on 04/06/2013 11:58:37 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
After noticing that most of the lifeguards at the public pools used by Latino and African-American kids were white, the Phoenix aquatics department decided to try to recruit minorities.
More than 90 percent of the students at Alhambra High are black, Latino or Asian. On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city's Melissa Boyle tells students she's not looking for strong swimmers. Like many under-resourced schools, Alhambra doesn't have a swim team.
"We will work with you in your swimming abilities," Boyle says.
Boyle's colleague Kelly Martinez takes on the delicate task of explaining the scenario the city is trying to correct.
"The kids in the pool are all either Hispanic or black or whatever, and every lifeguard is white," she says, "and we don't like that. The kids don't relate; there's language issues."
Martinez turns to a Latina student to her. "Do you speak Spanish?" she asks. "We need more lifeguards who can speak Spanish."
Competitive swimming still has a reputation as a white sport. And a national study released in 2010 found African-Americans and Latinos reported much lower swimming proficiency compared to whites.
"It's that catch-22," says Becky Hulett, who oversees Phoenix's public pools. "If the kids don't learn how to swim, as adults they are not going to swim, [and] they aren't going to take their own kids to swim."
So two years ago, Hulett began rethinking lifeguard . Traditionally, Phoenix's 500 lifeguards came from more affluent parts of town, most of which are farther from the public pools.
"It really populated from schools that had swim teams, and so that was our feeder into our lifeguarding programs," she says.
To help diversify its lifeguard ranks, the city raised about $15,000 over the past two years in scholarships to offset the cost of lifeguard-certification . Recruits who pass a swim test at the end can apply to be city lifeguards.
As the teens swim laps at Alhambra, it's clear many haven't had much formal training. But the coaches of the course aren't fazed and are prepared to put in the time to teach.
"Honestly, I have a little bit a fear of the water, and I wanted to overcome that fear," says high school junior Jesus Jimenez. He didn't grow up going to pools with his family but likes the idea of lifeguarding.
"It is nice to have the satisfaction of knowing that if somebody is in trouble you can save them at any time," he says.
If he is selected to be a lifeguard, other pool staff will work with him on his swimming skills all summer.
Why would you want lifeguards to be strong swimmers? That is so old school...
Serious, you can't make this crap up.
The jackasses in this country just can’t get over their goofy obsession with skin color and sexual disorientation. Personally, I don’t care what color a lifeguard is. I prefer that they are capable and qualified. Their skin color isn’t much help when some one is drowning and I don’t think many people have a preference as to the lifeguard’s skin color when they are drowning. It’s time for the taxpayers to start kickin’ the asses of some of these goofy public servants. They’re all morons.
In the mean time all the white pools will be adequately staffed.
So now we can look at black *lifeguards* with the same “is he/she really qualified or is this an affirmative action hire?” thought that occurs when most of see a black doctor,lawyer,President,cop,etc,etc.
When this article was posted a few days ago, I posted Kelly Martinez’s email addy at Parks and Recreation. I wonder if anybody ever got a reply?
The white lifeguards should quit in mass, due to the overt racism.
Imagine noticing most of the lifeguards at a ‘white pool’ were black/latino, and then starting a program to correct that, even if it meant dangerously lowering the standards.
When the white lifeguards quit (before they are replaced), those minority pools will be forced to close.
This same logic would require handicapped lifeguards for handicapped swimmers....blind lifeguards for blind swimmers....and obese lifeguards for hefty XXL lifeguards for big-boy swimmers.
White kids take martial arts from non-whites all the time, even though the instructor does not speak good English. They watch the moves, learn the main words, and go for it.
Why can’t hispanic kids do that? They do it in baseball and elsewhere.
Does this city have a Risk Management Department to advise them on the possible financial consequences of having incompetent life guards on duty?
Hey, at least if someone Hispanic drowns, they will die in peace knowing it was a Hispanic trying to save them.
This will be coming to the military too.
“We don’t care if you can shoot and have any leadership ability or tactical sense or are able to carry large loads. We need our services to resemble the country they will fail to defend.”
San Francisco, a few years ago, celebrated the first “all female firehouse.” I asked my 6’5” 300 pound friend (no, he is not fat) how thrilled he’d be to see that engine comapny pull up in front of a burning building he was trapped in.
These folks are so nutso.
life guard certification requires both written and practical examination. If they no longer require certification then liability will become a major issue.
Have they gone through whistle blowing school? “Hey You! Get Outta Da Pool!”
Apparently Kelly Martinez would “like that” better. She doesn’t seem to like white people very much.
The first drowning at one of those pools ought to draw quite an interesting lawsuit in response.
Yes, the white lifeguards should quit, due to the overt racism and lowered safety standards brought to their pools by their administrators.
If a kid should drown--God forbid--I'm sure the city administration will happily pay the kid's family millions extracted from the wealthiest in their community. Won't that be fair and poetic? /sarc
In another article she said that the pool is filled with black and hispanic kids, but all the lifeguards were white, and WE DON’T LIKE THAT.
Imagine if it was the other way round, her racism would put her out of a job. Here her racism is regarded as liberal brilliance.
Racism is only bad if liberal enemies can be accused of it. When liberals actually are racist, it’s celebrated as brilliance.
We would rather have a poorly trained spanish speaking doctor operate on your heart rather than a superbly trained anglo doctor.
On a recruiting effort there over the winter, the city's Melissa Boyle tells students she's not looking for strong swimmers.
Appearance and quotas are obviously more important than competence and ability to liberals.
Notice they never say that they have to pass the lifeguard cert. They only have to pass a "swim test" to apply to be a lifeguard. Then the city will "work with them" on their swimming all summer.
Right. The first time someone dies because the city has in-place lifeguards with no lifeguard cert I hope they get their ass sued off.
You make an excellent point here. If the best lifeguards are Indians, I want them. If they're Koreans, I want them. I don't give a d@mn about what they look like - I want the guy that will save me from drowning.
I want to see how a lifeguard swims in a burqa.
Even when the instructor is white, it didn’t matter. Whites, blacks, Mexicans galore, instructions were given in Korean!
gub, gub, g...
Maybe they should take a page from former Dodger GM Campanis’s commentary about black atheletes and their inability to swim due to buoyency issues?
Doesn't matter. It is only taxpayer dollars. The left believes that there is an endless supply of money to support their world view.
And why were these racists noticing skin color?
Documentation File on the negative impact of the Counterculture of Obamanation on America.
Good to know the life guard can somewhat accurately say:
“Esse! Tu estas ahogando! Que triste!”
(Dude! You are drowning! Bummer!)
Aaa, brings back to me my experience at Bloom Township HS over 50 years ago. Just about all the black kids were really great at most sports . . . until it came to swimming. Then it was time for everybody else to shine, since they mostly sank.
At least the drowned child’s body can be removed from the pool by someone to whom they could have related.
I always thought the Rio Grande was the final test for illegals........
That was the point Camperis was trying to make but once he hit the third rail of ethnic differences, he had to pay and he did, good bye Al.
That was exactly my experience. I used to line up against one of the best defensive tackles in the Metro NY Area. He used to kill me, well, he would knock me down not hurt me. Later we would sometimes match up during water polo. I made sure I stayed at the deep end as he could not swim well. We used to laugh about it because he would say you will not have that smirk on your face if we get down the shallow end! He towered over me a good six inches so there was no chance I would consider doing that!
I only notice one black guy and one black woman on the team. And I'm safe in assuming they went through EVERY effort to find non-white team members.
Meanwhile, look at the running teams and count the black vs white faces.
Anglo lifeguards have put in a lot of time and effort to become proficient and certified lifeguards and WE DON'T LIKE THAT!
Notice the 'pity party' excuse?
It's not that their parents didn't give a damn about raising their kids - it's because their schools didn't have 'swim teams'...
IS THERE ANYONE here who learned to swim at school? Anyone? There are public pools in every city.... maybe the parents should get off their behinds and take their kids to free swim lessons or teach them themselves.
When the first child dies at one of these public pools attempting to be 'oh so inclusive' how will guilty white liberal idiots find a way to blame white people?
She has a point there. Water doesn't speak spanish.
That means that 90 per cent of the parents are lazy, stupid, and are too apathetic to have their kids get swimming lessons. Maybe THAT is why anglo kids are life guards?
Long ago I lived in Chicago and would go biking along the lake on th near north side. Being a pretty good swimmer, I went through mental scenarios based on being way laid by Amish thugs. I decided the best thing to do would be to jump into the lake where it was over my head and challenge them to follow on the belief that I could robably drown any one of them who did. No, I didn’t ever have to do it.
“I guess a drowning Hispanic kid in a pool would rather have a poor-swimming Spanish speaker coming to rescue him than a strong-swimming Anglo.”
This will spread to every aspect of our economy (it really is ALL ABOUT MONEY), until it is outright illegal to hire a white guy. It is close enough now, with “diversity lawsuits” forcing companies to take unqualified tokens on the payroll and simply keeping them out of the way of productive, smart people who get the real work done.
what???? he gets to be a lifeguard BEFORE he actually has the skills? i see where this is going...
then the kids should learn to speak ENGLISH!
Yep. This same crap went on when women started trying to get into fire fighting. Who wants a 130 lb 5’ 4” PERSON to be the one to carry them out of a burning building? Really disgusting thinking.
Check out the comments at the source (NPR of all places!). Maybe there is yet hope for us?
If I were the pool authority, the first place I would look is t5he latino ski patrol