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Tots Caught: Tehran Kindergarten Shut Down Over Mixed-Gender Swimming Pool

By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

An Iranian official says a kindergarten has been shut down in the capital over a mixed-gender swimming pool.

Photos like these, showing young girls and boys swimming together, resulted in a Tehran kindergarten being closed down.

A welfare department official for Tehran Province, Ebrahim Ghafari, announced the temporary closure in a July 19 interview with the hard-line Tasnim news agency, which earlier this week published a critical report that included photos in which young children in boys' and girls' swimsuits could be seen together in a pool.

Tasnim had reported disapprovingly that the pool belonged to a kindergarten on Africa Street in an affluent neighborhood of the capital that had allowed mixed swimming and "proudly" posted the pictures on its official website.

Mingling between sexes outside the family is banned in Iran, which has promoted and enforced sexual segregation in many public places since the 1979 revolution and the creation of the Islamic republic.

Ghafari said that, following Tasnim's coverage, authorities made a surprise visit to the kindergarten and prepared a report.

"The management of the kindergarten would not acknowledge the issue," he said, adding that "all the evidence in the pictures matched the kindergarten."

Ghafari said that an emergency meeting followed at which authorities decided that the kindergarten would be shut down temporarily for not respecting "rules and norms."

Copyright (c) 2016 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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