Saturday, October 28, 2017
OK, imagine you're a 14-year-old boy. You've just started your freshman year at a brand new high school. You're self conscious and worried about fitting in. Then, your gym teacher tells you to strip naked and walk onto the pool deck with your nude male classmates. Yes, those same classmates you sit next to in math.
It's hard to imagine that any high school would require boys to swim naked today. But for more than 50 years (even until 1980, by some accounts), this was standard policy at public high schools in Chicago and across the country.
Curious City listener Michael San Filippo grew up hearing stories about what it was like from his dad.
"We just could not really believe that that was something they did," he says.
Michael and several other listeners have sent questions to Curious City asking for more information about the school policy. Specifically, Michael asked: Why did Chicago boys swim naked in high school? How did that start and why did it stop? And was it unique to Chicago?
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