Updated October 7, 2021

    This information is provided by the Professors & Researchers Special Interest Group of The Naturist Society.  Please discover all of the other wonderful topics available by entering this site through the front door.

    This is one of several essays about nudity being prepared for publication as a book.  If you would like to be notified when the book is ready, drop a note to paullevalley@peoplepc.com.


    This article appeared in Nude & Natural 37.1 (Fall 2017).  The list of schools and dates has grown since then--and will be updated as new information comes in.


Nude Swimming in School
by Paul LeValley

    Boys were required to swim nude in many American high schools for about 65 years—from the building of the first indoor school pool in 1913 to the late 1970s.  This remained standard practice in public schools and Catholic schools.  Just about any school large enough to have a pool required nude swimming. 

    I grew up in a Michigan county with little villages and nine high schools—only one of them big enough to have a swimming pool.  My uncles (five and six years older than me) swam nude there, so I was always aware of the practice.  But I attended a small school with no pool.  Years later, I arrived to teach English at Saginaw High School the first year that boys were required to wear suits.

    There are deniers who claim such a thing could never have happened in the U.S.A., yet it certainly did.  Why?

    In Europe, the tradition goes back much earlier.  In the 1830s, Dr. Thomas Arnold (father of the poet Matthew Arnold) revived the ancient Greek tradition of a well developed mind in a well developed body at Rugby school.  Along with other vigorous sports, the boys swam nude in the river.  Of course, Greek boys had attended all of their lessons nude.

    In the U.S., the Young Men's Christian Association led the way in swimming.  The Brooklyn YMCA built the first indoor pool in America in 1885.  All men and boys were expected to swim nude from the beginning—just as they had for thousands of years.  The swim suit had been invented just 16 years earlier, in 1869.  Women and girls had taken to the clumsy outfits—men only on the most crowded beaches, and boys rarely anywhere.

    Mark Twain was writing about Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn skinny-dipping in the Mississippi River.  Photographs in tourist guidebooks and the paintings of George Bellows frequently showed nude boys frolicking in the polluted waters of New York Harbor.  The YMCA was offering slum boys a better place to hang out than pool halls and saloons.  None of those boys owned swim suits, or could afford one.  Nude swimming was democratic, and could be spontaneous.

    Fibers and lint from wool swim suits clogged the early pool filters.  Soon, scientists discovered that swimsuits harbored far more germs than freshly scrubbed skin.  And so, when questioned about their nudity requirement, Y officials gave three reasons:

1.  Cleanliness for the swimmer.
2.  Cleanliness of the pool.
3.  Encouraging a proper attitude toward the body and life.
The third reason would prove the most enduring.

    In contrast, the Young Women's Christian Association neither encouraged nor discouraged nude swimming.  In 1918, the official policy at the Pawtucket, Rhode Island YWCA was "bathing suits permitted."  One YWCA in Vermont even offered beginning swim classes for prepubescent nude boys (taught by a woman in swimsuit).

    In 1913, New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Illinois opened the first high school indoor pool.  During the 1920s, several of the bigger high schools in the northern states began building indoor swimming pools for all-weather instruction.  Smaller schools never had them.  Since drowning ranked as the second-highest cause of death (after disease) among teenage boys, swimming seemed a good physical exercise to teach—far more practical than football or basketball or baseball.  But swimming almost never became a school subject in the southeastern states.

    With the number of pools increasing, the American Public Health Association in 1926 issued its first guidelines for maintaining sanitation in school pools.  They recommended that all boys swim nude, but conceded that the insignificant number of girls might wear simple costumes of undyed cotton.  Usually, these were ill-fitting baggy affairs owned and laundered by the school after each use.  Some schools left the suits optional for girls.  All classes were single-sex.

    How could anyone question the morality of a practice already endorsed for 40 years by the Young Men's Christian Association?  By 1937, the Administration of Health and Physical Recreation training manual stated, "Nude bathing for boys is practiced universally; in a few schools girls may swim nude and this is the most sanitary method."

    During the Depression years, the affordability of birthday suits again became an important point.

    With material shortages during World War II, the saving of cloth became a proud patriotic duty.  YMCA camps and countless Boy Scout camps required nude swimming even in the lake.  One man from Schenectedy NY remembered, "The summer of 1940 I went to YMCA camp on the eastern shore of Lake George.  We swam nude, and every morning at about 6 AM, the entire camp, including all the adults, traipsed nude through the camp site and had a nude morning swim."  A few rare schools even allowed the girls to wear skimpier two-piece bathing suits.  Many teachers came out of their war experience, convinced that communal nudity was good preparation for the expectations of military service.

    During the post-war years, it occurred to some people that saving girls from drowning might also be a good idea.  Junior high, and even elementary schools built pools, and required all students to participate—especially in the Great Lakes states.  Again, they were single-sex classes, the boys nude, girls clothed.  Some schools without pools arranged for their students to take swimming instruction at a nearby YMCA or YWCA.  Countless junior highs, high schools, and colleges demanded that all entering students pass a swimming test (the boys nude of course).

    In many high schools, the boys' swim team practiced nude, but wore Speedos during competition.  Yet if both teams agreed, they might compete nude before a mixed-sex audience.  This happened routinely in some parts of the country, never in others.  There are even photographs of mixed swim teams—the boys nude, the girls in swimsuits—but they appear to be of college age.  (Beware of doctored photos.  Most schools drew the line at picture-taking, and insisted on swimsuits one day a year for the yearbook picture; a few of those have since been photoshopped to reflect the everyday reality.  You can usually spot the fakes because the reconstructed penises are too long.)

    I have seen only one convincing (though unsuccessful) attempt to pose a whole nude high school team for a yearbook—and it was water polo, rather than swimming.  The hairstyles say early 1970s, when water polo was just beginning as a high school sport in California and Hawaii.

    A former high school swimmer from Grosse Point, Michigan, recently reminisced, "Senior year (1968) our team did really well and won the state championships.  We had continued to compete nude regularly when a few teams were beginning to insist that their boys wear suits.  (We objected loudly to that idea, and were never forced to suit up.)  But we had to wear suits for the state competition in Ann Arbor.  The boys from St. Joseph public HS (rival team) also complained about the suits, but since photographs were going to be published in the papers we all had to comply.  At least we were equally handicapped.  Several of the St. Joe boys were African-American, and in practice they clearly showed that the somewhat racist view that they were often well-endowed had some basis in fact.  Nevertheless they suited up as we all did."

    We hear occasional tales of girls sneaking in to peek at the boys (just as boys tried to spy on the girls' locker room.)  And there were exceedingly rare times when the coach fell sick, and the girls' teacher substituted—mostly in the lower grades.  Yet elite members of the male high school swim team were supposed to be above caring, and we do hear of female assistant coaches in Grosse Pointe.  In another rare case, Van Nuys, California had an outdoor pool, where passing girls could see the high dive board above the wall.  But in most schools, the boys swam inside, the doors kept securely locked, with no females about.  Girls in a few schools swam nude in their separate classes.

    A few women have given unconfirmed reports of boys and girls swimming nude together in certain schools in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, western New York, and the Philadelphia area—and later in Oregon and the San Francisco area.  I have marked those schools with an asterisk.  Oddly, men don't seem to remember that ever happening.  The same women have reported nude gym classes, track, and other sports.  Those schools are marked with #.  Nude boys' gym classes sometimes happened in 19th- and early 20th-century Europe, so a few American examples would not be surprising.

    Such widespread male nudity seldom made headlines because it was not news.  In fact, nudist magazines did not even bother to mention anything so taken for granted.  But the few reported stories in the mainstream press are interesting.  For instance, as early as 1909, boys from 40 New York City elementary schools showed up for what was supposed to be a clothed swim competition.  But during the practice rounds, they discovered they could move faster without the suits, so they all discarded them.  The newspaper described the boys as tadpoles.

    In 1940, the Sheboygan Press in Wisconsin ran a big feature on the difference between clothed girls' swimming and nude boys' swimming at Central High School.  They included a black-and-white rear-view picture of a boy on the diving board, then gave his name and even address.  About 25 other nude boys sat in the background facing the camera, but the picture quality was too low to reveal anything.

    On October 16, 1950, Life magazine ran a full-color picture of nude boys playing with beach balls in the new and bigger pool at New Trier High School in Winnetka IL.  They did not even bother to comment on the standard nudity.

    In 1947, the girls (age 9 to 13) in three Highland Park, Michigan elementary schools asked to swim nude like the boys had for years, so they could spend more time in the pool, and less in the locker room.  But after a few weeks of that, some mothers from Liberty School complained to the school board.  One mother testified, "We are all alarmed about this freedom the girls have been given.  There is no telling what it could lead to and we want it stopped at once."  The one woman on the board responded, "No moral issue is involved.  This type of discussion I think is not going to lead to anything constructive to discuss."  The men on the board silently bowed to the wishes of the mothers, and decided that the 150 girls of Liberty School would go back to wearing suits, but the 200 girls at the other two schools could continue to swim nude.

    Mothers at Menasha High School in Wisconsin did not have the same success in 1960.  Some complained that their sons felt embarrassed about being nude around other boys, and wanted swimsuit optionality, the same as the girls enjoyed.  School officials sent questionnaires to 34 schools.  31 responded.  20 schools expected the boys to swim nude.  The other 11 required suits because their pools were outdoors or could not be privatized enough.  The board president stated that the cost of buying and daily laundering of suits for the boys would be prohibitive.  Citing military expectations, board members implied that the boys should learn to act like men, and not hide behind their mothers.  Request denied.

    Then in 1961, the General Director of the Allentown, Pennsylvania YMCA spoke the unspeakable: Improvements in filtration, chlorination, and swimsuit materials made the Y's first two health reasons for nudity obsolete.  All that remained was "encouraging a proper attitude toward the body and life."  The following year, in 1962, the American Public Health Association dropped its nudity recommendation for schools.

    Was that the end of nude swim classes in school?  No way.  Tradition had set in.  Men and boys saw lots of other good reasons to continue the practice.  When a member of the Rockford, Illinois school board suggested ending nude swimming in 1968, a survey of 36 administrators, athletic directors, and swimming instructors found only two educators who thought suits would be a good idea.  With the teachers' union and even the janitors opposed to any change, nude swimming continued there for at least another seven years.

    In September of 1970, advice columnist Abigail Van Buren wrote about boys in their upper teens swimming nude with clothed girls in a family pool:  "It's called the American way of life.  There is something quite natural about boys swimming naked at the local swimming hole, or as in your friends' case, at their own lake front home.  Boys do not require the same degree of modesty as girls, and are, as you have observed, free to relax and enjoy the sun and the water as nature intended.  Many schools and YMCAs utilize this as a policy with boys in swim class and on swim teams.  Rather than attempt to reign in your boys, you should be encouraging them to adapt to this more natural way of life."

    Though a few late developers later complained about traumatic embarrassment, the truth was that most boys enjoyed swimming nude.  The Duluth, Minnesota school board made nudity for boys optional in 1973.  When allowed to vote, the boys in every Duluth junior high chose to continue swimming nude.

    No, what killed nude school swimming was Title IX: equal sports access for girls in 1972.  Good things can have bad consequences.  But implementation was uneven.  At Sarasota High School in Florida, the principal let the boys' and girls' coach each decide the dress code for their classes.  The male teacher said clothed for the boys; the female teacher said nude for the girls all through the early 1970s.

    While a few girls in other places argued for the right to swim nude like the boys did, the solution at most schools was to have mixed-gender classes with everybody clothed.  The YMCA did the same thing.  School boards caved in with the slogan, "Swimsuits rather than lawsuits."  By the late 1970s, bastions of male nude swimming were dropping off fast.

    Later developments added nails to the coffin.  A 1980s panic about teacher molestation didn't help.  Nor did a later tendency to put nude teens and adults on sexual predator lists.  The Gay Rights movement was another good thing that had some bad consequences.  Increased awareness of homosexuality can be blamed for boys today fearing to shower around other boys.  Despite all this, high school wrestlers continued to weigh in nude until 2010—a tradition that ended because of cell phone cameras.  While these changed attitudes stand in the way of a return to nude swimming in school, they came way too late to cause its demise.

    To revisit those times, perhaps the best you can do is talk with older relatives.  Or you can watch the 1985 movie, Heaven Help Us, which includes a nude swimming class in a Catholic high school in Brooklyn during the mid-1960s.  Evangelical protestant schools did not arise until after the nude swim class era was over.  But The Sugar Creek Gang had been a series of Christian novels in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s about a group of boys who always swam nude.  When the books were finally made into a movie series in 2004, all nudity disappeared.

    The loss of nude swimming (whether together or separately) is a significant loss for boys and girls.
    1.  It builds confidence and pride in themselves.
    2.  It helps them understand the varying time-clocks of adolescent growth.
    3.  When mixed, it builds respect for the opposite sex, and appears to reduce teen pregnancy.
    4.  Outside the enclosed pool, it helps them become a natural part of nature.
    5.  It links them with the thousands of generations of humankind who have swum nude before us.
Boys and girls still need these qualities today.

    From newspaper clippings and testimonials on the Internet, I have compiled a list of American elementary, junior, and high schools that definitely required boys to swim nude.  Surely there were many more.  Surely the dates extended far beyond the four years when the testifier attended.

    The tradition died out later than I realized.  End dates for nude swimming at some schools can be documented by people who were there.  Figuring out when nude swimming began at a school is much more difficult, because the earliest participants would be well over 100 years old by now.  Usually, it was the date the pool was built—which varied from school building to school building within the same district.  Such decisions were usually made by the local school board, and applied to all schools in the district that had pools at that particular time.  So far, we know the precise beginning and end dates at only 17 schools—mostly latecomers built in the 1960s.

    Help us complete this list.  Please send additional schools and extended dates to paullevalley@peoplepc.com.


Alabama
Mobile
    Murphy HS  1960-late '60s

Arkansas
Little Rock
    Catholic Boys HS  no date

California
Alameda
    Alameda HS*  1953-75
Anaheim
    Servite [Catholic] HS  optional 1995-99
Burbank
    Burbank HS*  late 1940s-early '50s
La Verne
    Damian [Catholic] HS  1960s
Los Angeles
    Thomas Starr King Junior High  1940s
    Los Angeles HS  1940s-ended early 1970s
Monterey
    Monterey HS  1960-64
Oakland
    Oakland HS*  1968-72
Richmond
        De Anza HS*  1968-72
        Richmond HS*  1968-72
San Diego
    St. Augustine HS  1962-66
San Francisco
    Balboa HS*  1968-c.81
    Lincoln HS*  1968-c.81
        Lowell HS*  early 1960s-c.81
    Washington HS*  1968-c.1981
Santa Ana
    Santa Ana HS  1950s-'60s
Van Nuys
    Birmingham HS  1961-65

Connecticut
Windham
    Windham HS  late 1950s-77

Florida
Sarasota
    Sarasota HS--up to teacher: boys clothed, girls nude  1970-74

Hawaii
Honolulu
    Junior high  1960s

Illinois
Berwyn
    Berwyn HS  late 1960s
Champaigne-Urbana
    Edison Junior High  1960
Chicago  district requirement ended 1972.  A few schools continued past 1980.
    Wright Junior High  no date
    Albert G. Lane Technical HS  1942-ended 1978
    Amundsen HS  1960-64
    Austin HS  1928-68
    Bloom HS  early 1960s
    Bowen HS  1956-ended 1980s
    Crane HS  1940s
    Dunbar HS  no date
    Farragut HS  no date
    Fenger HS  early 1960s-1967
    Foreman HS  1960s
    Harlan HS  1966
    Harper HS  1960s
    Harrison HS  1946-50
    John F. Kennedy HS  1962 (when built)-ended 1979
    Lake View HS  1959
    Loyola Academy  1945-46
    Manley HS  no date
    Mather HS  1964-68
    Morgan Park HS  1963-73
    Francis W. Parker prep school  no date
    Wendell Phillips HS  no date
    Roosevelt HS  early 1960s-ended early 1970s
    Senn HS  1964-late1960s
    St. George HS  no date
    St. Patrick HS  1967 (when built)-ended 1980
    St. Viador HS  1964-70s.  Also nude calesthenics
    Steinmetz HS  1960s-73.  Ended by 1977
    Sullivan HS  1965-76
    William Howard Taft HS  1970s
    Edward Tilden HS  no date
    University of Chicago Laboratory HS  1959-late 1960s
    Von Steuben HS  1965-1970s
    Robert A. Waller HS  no date
Chicago Heights
    Bloom HS  1960s
Cicero
    Morton East HS  ended 1976
    Morton West HS  no date
Deerfield
    Deerfield HS  1968-72
Des Plaines
        Old Maine HS  1915 (when built)- ended 1930 (when building abandoned)
    Thacker Junior High (same building)  1930-68 (when torn down)
Evanston
    Evanston Township HS  1968-ended 1978
Freeport
        Carl Sandburg Junior High  late 1960s, made optional in 1976
Galesburg
    Galesburg HS  1949-52
Glenview
    Glenbrook North HS  1961-1980s
    Glenbrook South HS  1962 (when built)-ended 1977
Harvey
    Thornton Township HS  1974-78
Highland Park
    Highland Park HS  1967-71
Hillside
    Proviso West HS  1960s-ended 1978
Lansing
    Thornton Fractional South HS  1971-74
Lincolnshire
    Daniel Wright Junior High  no date
Northlake
    West Leyden HS  1958-80
Oak Park
    Bishop Fenwick HS  1969-73
    Oak Park HS  no date
    River Forest HS  late 1970s
Ottawa
    Ottawa HS  1956-60
Park Ridge
    Maine East HS  1966
Peoria
    Peoria HS  mid 1970s
Riverside
    Riverside-Brookfield HS  1969-ended 1977
Rockford
    Jefferson Junior High  1962-75
    Lincoln Junior High  1962-75
    Auburn H S  1962-75
    Rockford East H S  1940-75
    Rockford West H S  1940-75
Spring Valley
    Hall HS  no date
Streator
    Northlawn Junior High  1974
    Streator HS  1964-68
Warrensburg
    Warrensburg Latham HS  1950 (when built) -70
Waukegan
    West HS  no date
Winnetka
    New Trier Township HS  1913 (when first pool built)-early '80s
        (Later called New Trier East HS)
Woods River
    Lewis & Clark Junior High  1966 (when built)-early 1970s


Indiana
East Chicago
    Washington HS  probably 1924 (when built)-1939
Gary
    Emerson HS  probably 1908 (when built)-1939
    Froebel HS  1939
    Horace Mann HS  1928 (when built)-1976
    Lew Wallace HS  1931 (when built)-39
    Theodore Roosevelt HS (all black)  1930 (when built)-39
Hammond
    Hammond HS  1921 (when built)-1939
Indianapolis
    Cathedral HS  1960s
Kokomo
    Kokomo HS  early 1960s
Munster
    Munster HS 1970s

Iowa
Cedar Falls
    Cedar Falls HS  1940s-70s  Also girls.
Cedar Rapids
    Washington HS  no date
Des Moines
    Ames HS*  mid 1930s-74  Also girls.
    East HS*  early 1930s-74
    Lincoln HS  1960s-early 70s
    Hoover HS*  1967 (when built)-74
        North HS*  early 1930s-73
    Roosevelt HS*  mid 1930s-74
    Knoxville Middle School  1961-early 80s
Marshalltown
    Marshalltown HS  1962
Waterloo
    Edison Junior High  no date
    Hoover Junior High 1970-72
    Logan Junior High  1953 (when built)-74
    McKinstry Junior High  1953 (when built)-60
    West Junior High  1968-73
    East HS  early 1960s-71
    West HS  no date
West Des Moines
        Valley HS*  mid-1940s-74  Also girls.

Kansas
Derby
    Derby HS  1970s
Ellinwood
    Ellinwood HS*  began 1937-ended c.1977
Ellsworth
        Ellsworth HS*  began mid-1930s-ended c.1977
Great Bend
    Great Bend HS*  began 1937-ended 1977
Hays
        Hays HS*  began 1936-ended 1977
Hoisington
        Hoisington HS*  began 1930s-ended 1977
Hutchinson
        Hutchinson HS*  began 1932-ended 1976
Kansas City
    Wyandotte HS  1960s
Lawrence
        Lawrence HS*  1954 (when built)-late 1970s
Leavenworth
    Leavenworth HS*  1930s-late 70s
Manhattan
        Manhattan HS*  began 1930s-ended 1974
Newton
    Newton HS*  1941-late '70s
Piper
    Piper HS*  1937-late '70s
Pratt
        Pratt HS*  began 1936-ended c.1976
Topeka
    Topeka HS  1964-68
Victoria
        Victoria HS*  began 1930s-ended 1977
Wichita
    Wichita North HS  1964-'70s
    Wichita South HS  no date
    Wichita Southeast HS  no date

Kentucky
Lexington  ended district-wide in 1960s
    Henry Clay HS  no date

Maryland
Baltimore
    Baltimore City College HS  no date
    Baltimore Polytechnic HS  1969-ended 1977
    Calvert Hall HS  1966-70
    City HS  1971-74
    Douglas HS  no date
    Eastern HS (all girls)  no date
    Edmondson HS  1962-66
    Forest Park HS  no date
    Loyola HS  1963-67
    Merganthaler HS  late 50s-1963
    Mervo HS  1967-71
    Northern HS  1967-71
    Patterson HS  1968-75
    Southern HS  no date
    Western HS  no date

Massachusetts
Boston
    Boston Boys HS  no date
Gloucester
        Central Grammar (Junior High) School (at the YMCA)  1966-71 (when closed)
Springfield
    John J. Duggan Junior High  1955 (when built)-1961
Westfield
    Westfield Intermediate School  1957-58
Worcester
    Worcester Academy  1915 (when pool built)-ended 1974
        Worcester Boys Trade HS (at Lincoln Square Boys Club)  1930 (when built)-c.1975

Michigan
Adrian
    Adrian Junior High  1939-74
    Drager Junior High  no date
    Adrian HS  late 1950s-early '70s (optional after 1964, but most stayed nude)
Albion
    Washington Gardner HS  1922 (when pool built)-1967 (when abandoned)
Ann Arbor
    Forsythe Junior High  1961-63
    Ann Arbor HS  1938-66
Battle Creek
    Central High School  1950s
Bay City
    Kolb Junior High  1961-70
    T. L. Handy Junior High--later HS  1940-70
    Central HS  1962-70
Birmingham
    Brother Rice HS  1964-68
    Cranbrook Institute  1964-68
Dearborn--began district-wide 1928
    Oxford Elementary School  c.1920-c.1979
    Lowrey Elementary and Junior High  1948-54
    Edison Junior High  no date
    Stout Junior High  early 1970s-ended 1976
    Dearborn HS  c.1920-1982
    Edsel Ford HS  1955 (when built)-
    Fordson HS  1941-57
    Catholic schools  no date
Detroit
    Longfellow Elementary school (at the YMCA)  1960s
    Barbour Junior High  no date
    Burroughs Junior High  no date
    Cleveland Junior High  no date
    Durfee Junior High  early 60s
    Foch Junior High 62-65
    Jackson Junior High  1956-60
    McMichael Junior High  no date
    Nolan Junior High  no date
    Tappan Junior High  no date
    Cass Tech HS  1950s-70
    Cody HS  1970s
    Cooley HS  1930s-1968
    Denby HS  1956-68
    Dunbar HS  no date
    Mackenzie HS  1951-69
    Mumford HS  no date
    Northwestern HS  1930s
    Pershing HS  1966-70
    Southeastern HS  mid 1960s
    Southwestern HS  1963
    University of Detroit Jesuit High School  1976
Ecorse
    Ecorse HS  1967-72
Ferndale
    Ferndale HS  1958 (when built)-ended 1977
    Lincoln HS  1949 (when pool built)-1958 (when abandoned)
    Lincoln Jr. High (same building) 1958-73
Grand Haven
    Grand Haven Junior High  no date
Grosse Pointe
    Brownell Middle School  1950s-1964
    junior high  no date
    Grosse Pointe (South) HS  1950s-68
Grosse Pointe Woods
    Parcells Junior High  1962
    University Liggett School 1960s
Hamtramck
    Hamtramck HS  no date
Harper Woods
    Harper Woods High School  1960s
Hazel Park
    Hazel Park Junior High  1961
    Hazel Park HS  No date
Highland Park  ended mid-80s
    Ford Elementary School  Nude girls' classes added 1947
        Liberty Elementary School (age 9-13) long before 1947-69  Girls' class briefly in 1947
    Willard Elementary School  Nude girls' classes added 1947
    Barber Middle School  1960s
    Ferris Middle School  1960
Ishpeming
    Ishpeming HS  1956- mid-60s
Jackson
    East Junior High  no date
    Frost Junior High  early 1960s-1973
    Northeast Junior High  no date
Lake St. Clair Shores
    Lakeshore HS  1966-68
Lansing
    Walter French Junior High  late 1960s-70s
    Gardner Junior High  1973-79
    Dwight Rich Junior High  1963-73
    West Junior High  1962-68
    Eastern HS  1968-72
    J. W. Sexton HS  1965-68
Lincoln Park
    Lincoln Park HS  1955-70s
Monroe
    Monroe HS  1930 (when built)-1960
Mt. Clemons
    Mt. Clemons HS  mid-1960s-1973
Muskegon
    Jolman Elementary School  1959
    Bunker Junior High  1965-ended 1977
    Nelson Junior High  no date
    Steele Junior High 1969-72
    Muskegon HS  1957-ended 1977
    Orchard View HS  no date
New Buffalo
    Thornton Township HS  1948-52
Oscoda
    Oscoda HS  1977
Owosso
    Owosso HS  1937-ended 1975
        Owosso Junior High  1962 (when moved into the old building-ended 1975
Plymouth
    Plymouth HS  1955-60
Pontiac
    Pontiac HS (renamed Pontiac Central HS)  1935-70
Redford
    Redford HS  1950s-76
River Rouge
    River Rouge HS  1962-66
Riverview
    Riverview HS  1957-61
Royal Oak
    Dondero HS  1967
Saginaw
    Arthur Hill HS  ended 1967
    Saginaw HS  ended 1967
Sault Ste. Marie
    Sault HS  no date
St. Joseph
    St. Joseph HS  1964-1968
Taylor
    John F. Kennedy HS  no date
Traverse City
    Traverse City HS  1966-70
Trenton
    Trenton HS  1966-72
Wakefield
    Wakefield Public Schools  1926-
Warren
    Warren Middle School  no date
    Fitzgerald HS  early 1960s-1968
    Warren HS  no date
Wyandotte
    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School  1950s  nude boys' gym but no pool
    Roosevelt HS  1920s-ended c.1973

Minnesota
Austin
    Austin HS  1970s
Cloquet
    Cloquet High School  no date
Duluth  district requirement ended 1973.
    Lincoln Junior High  mid-1970s
    Ordean Junior High  1967-1971
    Washington Junior High  late 1960s
    West Junior High  ended 1972
    Woodland Junior High  1960s-mid'70s
    A sixth Junior High  1973
    Central District HS  1930s-71
    Denfeld HS  1960s
    Duluth East HS  no date
    Proctor HS  ended 1978
Edina
    Valley View Junior High  1956 (when built)-
Ely
    Ely Memorial HS  1924 (when built)-1960s
Hibbing
    Hibbing HS  1924 (when built)-
International Falls
    Falls HS  1970s
Mankato
    Mankato HS  early 1950s-c.1971
Minneapolis
    Bryant Junior High  no date
    Plymouth Middle School  no date
    Minneapolis North HS  1950s-60s
    Washburn HS  no date
Minnetonka
    Minnetonka HS  1970s
Mt. Iron
    Mt. Iron HS  no date
Nashwauk
    Nashwauk-Keewatin HS  1979-83  [latest certain date on this list]
New Hope
    Hosterman Junior High  1970-early '80s
Plymouth
    Plymouth Junior High  no date
Proctor
    Proctor HS  early 1970s-ended 1978
Robbinsdale
    Robbinsdale Junior High  ended 1977
    Sandburg Junior High  no date
    Armstrong HS  no date
    Robbinsdale HS  1969-73
Rochester
    Central Junior High  1970s
St. Louis Park
    St. Louis Park HS  no date
St. Paul
    Highland Park Junior High  1969-71
    Central High School  no date
    Harding HS  ended 1973
    North St. Paul HS  no date
Virginia
    Virginia HS  1968-71

Missouri
Independence
    Van Horn HS  1961-69
Jefferson City
    Jefferson City Senior HS  1926 (when built)-1963 (when abandoned)
Kansas City
    Northeast HS  1960s
    Southwest HS  1960s
Knob Noster
    Catholic HS  1961-62
St. Louis
    Cleveland HS  1957-61
    Normandy HS  1955-73
    Roosevelt HS  1955-59

Nebraska
Lincoln
    Northeast HS  1948

New Jersey
Hackensack
    Bergen County HS  1971-75
Milburn
    Columbia High School  1950s-1972
South Orange
    Central High School  1950s-1972
Trenton
    Trenton Junior High #3  1964-65
    Trenton Junior High #4  1970s
    Trenton Central HS  1961-70

New Mexico
Santa Fe
    Santa Fe HS  Prohibited, but boys did it as an annual stunt 1965-73

New York
Akron
    Akron Central HS  1981-85
Albany
    Hackett Junior High  1962-65
Amherst
    Amherst Junior High  1970s
    Amherst Central HS  1952-late 1970s
Astoria
    St. John's Prep School  1960s
Barker
    elementary school  no date
Brighton
    Brighton HS*  1972-74
Brooklyn  required in all public schools with pools 1960s
    Abraham Lincoln HS  optional 1969-73
    Brooklyn Technical HS  1962-73
    Erasmus Hall HS  1960-63
    James Madison HS  1951-55
    Samuel J. Tilden HS  1957- ended 1968
    St. John's Preparatory HS  1950s
Buffalo--district-wide 1960s-ended 1976
    1 report that girls were nude on alternate days in 1967.  Where?
    Public School #57  no date
    Windermere Elementary School  early 1970s
    Frontier Junior High  no date
    Bennett HS  1957-1973
    Canisius HS  no date
        Grover Cleveland HS*  1970-74
    Hutchinson Technical HS*  1949-68
        Kensington HS*  1948-52
    McKinley HS  1952-56
    Nichols School  no date
Canandaigua
    Canandaigua Junior High  no date
Cheektowaga
    Union East Elementary School  1968
    Cheektowaga Central Junior High 1969-71
    Cheektowaga Central HS  1970-82
    Maryvale HS  1967-69
Clarence
    Clarence Junior High  early 1980s
Depew
    Depew HS  1983-ended 1986
Far Rockaway
    Far Rockaway HS  1961-69
Fredonia
        Fredonia HS*  1965-75
Gowanda
    Gowanda Central Elementary School  late 1970s
    Gowanda HS  1956 (when built)-ended 1976
Greece
    Arcadia HS  1963 (when built)-1970
    Olympia HS  1965-70
Hamburg
    Amsdell Jr. High  mid-1970s
    Hamburg Jr. High  1969-71
    Frontier Central HS  late 1960s
    Hamburg HS  1960s-1979
Irondequoit
    Iroquois Middle School  1970s
    Eastridge HS  1968-75
    Irondequoit HS  no date
Kenmore
    Benjamin Franklin Junior High  no date
    Herbert Hoover Junior High  1973
    Kenmore Junior High  1972-78
    Kenmore East HS  1974-80
    Kenmore HS  ended 1977
    Kenmore West HS  1956-80
Lackawanna
    Lackawanna HS  1968-ended 1973
Lancaster
    Lancaster HS*  mid-1940s to late '70s
Lockport
    Lockport HS (across the street at the YMCA) 1941-1960s
Maryvale
    Maryvale HS  early 1980s
New York City--School board policy in 1960 was boys swim nude in all pools.
    40 schools (probably grades 5-8) competed nude 1909
    Public School 44  1960s
    Public School 70 (later named Max Schoenfeld Elementary)  1960s
    Andrew Jackson HS  no date
    Bayside HS  1953-57
    Bronx HS of Science  late 1940s-early 1950s
    Curtis HS  1968-72
    DeWitt Clinton HS  1971-74
    Evander Childs HS  1960s
    George Washington HS  1928-43
    Jamaica HS  1953-ended 1968
    John Adams HS  1953-65
    Manual Training HS  1928
    Monroe HS  ended 1983
    Richmond Hill HS  1967-71
    Stuyvesant HS  no date
    Woodrow Wilson HS  1964-74
Niagara Falls
    24th Street Elementary School  1966-67
    Cleveland Avenue Elementary School  1965-66
    Maple Avenue Elementary School  1956-65
    Gaskill Junior High held city-wide nude swim meet for 200 boys from about 20 elementary schools, 1967
    LaSalle Junior High  1974
    North Junior High  clothed 1967-70, nude 1976-ended 1978
    DeVeaux Prep School  1959-65  closed 1972
North Tonawanda
    Payne Junior High  ended 1980
    Reszel Junior High  ended 1980
    North Tonawanda HS  1950s-late 1970s
  (officially optional after 1960)
Penfield
    Penfield HS*  1945-49
Ridgewood
    Grover Cleveland HS  1960
Rochester
    Ben Franklin HS  1957-66
    Charlotte HS  1955-ended 1979
    East HS*  1973
    Edison Tech HS  1960s-75
    John Marshall HS  early 1960s-70s
    Monroe HS  1958-62
    Thomas Jefferson HS  no date
    West HS  1942-46
Rome
    Rome Free Academy (public HS)  no date
Silver Creek
        Central HS*  1960-78
Springville
    Springville HS  no date
Tonawanda
    Tonawanda Junior High  late 1970s
    Kibler HS#  early 1950s-1975
    Tonawanda HS  1950s-late 1970s
Troy--boys nude in all schools with pools in 1963
    School 12 (K-8)  late 1930s-early 40s
    School 14 (K-8)  no date
    School 16 (K-8)  1960s
    School 18 (K-8)  no date
    Troy High School  1959-65
West Seneca
    Allendale Jr. High  1973-77
    West Jr. High  ended 1980
    West Seneca HS  1962-66
Williamsville
    Williamsville North Elementary School  late 1970s-early 80s
    Casey Middle School  early 1970s
    Heim Middle School  no date
    Williamsville Middle School  mid-1970s
    North HS  1968 (when built)-mid '70s
    South HS  1960-ended 1976

North Dakota
Fargo
    Central HS  1950s-1966 (when the building burned)
    South HS  1967 (when built)-
Minot
    Central HS  1918 (when built)-1964 (when closed)

Ohio
Akron
    Lincoln Elementary School  1945-68
    University School (2nd-5th grades)  late 1960s
    Goodyear Junior High  1950s-77
    East HS  no date
    Harvey S. Firestone HS  no date
    Kenmore HS  no date
Bellevue
    Bellevue Junior High  mid-1970s
Cincinnati
    Central HS  ended 1974
    Oak Hills HS  1960s
    Walnut Hills HS  1932-74
    Western Hills HS  1960s-ended 1974
    Woodward HS  ended 1974
Cleveland
            Cleveland Heights HS  1938-'73  a few suits--never enough--provided after 1963
    John Adams HS  1959-63
    John Marshall HS  1959-63
    University School  1930s-1950s
Hawken
    Hawken School (at The Hangar in Lyndhurst)  long before 1962-68
Sandusky
    junior high  no date

Oklahoma
Altus
    Altus HS*  1930s-1973
Ardmore
    Ardmore HS#  1940s-ended 1976
Cache
    Cache HS  mid-1940s-'70s
Chickasha
        Chickasha HS*  1940s-'67 (when abandoned)
Comanche
    Comanche HS#  began 1942-ended 1973
Del City
    Del City HS  1953-1970s
Duncan
    Duncan HS*  began 1942-ended 1975
Guthrie
    Guthrie HS*  1940s-1973
Lawton
    Eisenhower HS#  1962 (when built)-ended 1978
        Lawton* HS  1945-74
Madill
    Madill HS#  no date
Marietta
    Marietta HS#  mid-1940s-1972
McAlester
    McAlseter HS#  mid-1940s-mid-1970s
Midwest City
    Midwest City HS*  1953-1970s
Norman
        Norman HS*  began 1947-ended 1978
Oklahoma City
    Taft Junior High  1949-65
        Classen Jr/Sr High School#*  1920s-72  Nudity required in many gym classes for boys or girls
Ponca City
    Ponca City HS  began 1949-mid-'70s
Sulphur
    Sulphur HS*  1930s-1958
Tulsa
    Central HS  1920s-76 (when abandoned)
Walters
    Walters HS*  1934-'40s

Oregon
Albany
        West Albany HS*  1940s-1973
Corvallis
        Corvallis HS*  1930s-1977
Eugene
        Sheldon HS*  1940s-1973
Gresham
        Gresham Union HS*  1940s-1970s
Hillsboro
    Hillsboro Junior High#*  1940s-1963 
    Hillsboro HS#*  1941-78
Molalla
    Molalla HS*  early 1940s-late 1970s
North Bend
    North Bend HS*  1940s-late '70s
Portland
    Cleveland HS#*  1963-67
    Grant HS#*  1963-67
    Washington HS#*  1963-67

Pennsylvania
Allentown
    Allentown/William Allen HS  1940 (when pool built) -1970
Bethlehem
    Liberty HS  1954-58
Butler
    Butler Junior High  1962-65
Drexel Hill
        Upper Darby HS*  1946-77
Erie
    Cathedral Prep HS  mid-1970s
Folsom
    Ridley HS  1969-73
Lancaster
    McCasky HS  1963
McKeesport
    McKeesport Area HS*  late 1940s-'76
Philadelphia
    Frankford HS*  early 1950s-76
    La Salle College HS  1970s
        Northeast HS*  early 1950s-ended late '70s
Pittsburgh
    several junior highs  1960s-ended 1981
    Prospect Jr. High  1938 (when pool was built)-late 1970s
        Baldwin HS*  early 1950s-76
    Central HS#  1939-late 1970s
    Peabody HS  1959-74
        Schenley HS*  late 1940s-1976
    South Hills HS  late 1960s-early 1980s
Radnor
    Radnor HS  early 1960s-73
Sewickley
    Sewickley HS no date

Texas
Dallas
    Rosemont Elementary & Upper School#  1946-67
    Bryan Adams HS*  1957 (when built)-72
        Crozier Tech HS#* (Dallas HS)  1952-ended 1971.  Nudity required in some gym classes for boys or girls
    Lincoln HS  1969-73#
    Thomas Jefferson HS*  1955 (when built)-72
        Woodrow Wilson HS#*  1967-ended 1976
Houston
    Redd Elementary School  opened in 1969
    F. M. Black Junior High  1960-63
    Burbank Junior High  mid-1950s
    Cullen Junior High  no date
    Edison Junior High  no date
    Jerald Edwards Junior High  1960s
    R. H. Fonville Junior High  no date
    Charles Hartman Junior High  1971
    Jane Long Junior High  1963
    San Jacinto HS  1932-
    Waltrip HS  late 1960s
Meyerland
    Albert Sydney Johnston Junior High  1930-66
Ranger
        Ranger HS#*  1932-ended 1968
Wichita Falls
        Wichita Falls High School#  1947-70s.  Nudity required in many gym classes for boys or girls

Utah
Brigham City
    Box Elder HS (later Jr. High) 1930s (when built)-1962
Granite
    Granite High School  1944-48

Virginia
Norfolk
    Norfolk Junior High (bussed to the Navy YMCA)  early 1950s

Washington
Tacoma
    Lincoln HS  1971-73

West Virginia
Wheeling
    Ritchie Elementary School  1955-early '70s

Wisconsin
Appleton
    Appleton Senior HS  1938-61
Eau Claire
    Delong Middle School  1983-84
LaCrosse
    Central High School  ended 1966 when building abandoned
Janesville
    Edison Junior High  1975-77
    Marshall Junior High  1923-ended 1982
    Craig HS  1954 (when built)-83 (two reports that nudity remained an option another 20 years)
    Parker HS  1977-81
Kenosha
    Mary D. Bradford HS  no date
Madison
    East HS  1968-77
    James Madison Memorial HS  1968
    Robert M. La Follette HS  1960s
    West HS  1950s-1974
Manitowoc
    Washington Junior High  early 1960s
    Lincoln HS  1950s-ended 1974
Menasha
    Menasha HS  long before 1960-ended late 1960s
Milwaukee
    public HS  1974-78
    Bay View HS  1961-72
    Casimir Pulaski HS  1961-mid '60s
    Custer HS  1955 (when built)-1960s
Sheboygan  1952 allowed swimsuit option at swim meets only
    Central High School  1940-ended 1973
Waukesha
    7 elementary schools (at Edison Building Pool)  1945-60
    Horace Mann Middle School  no date
    Waukesha HS Central Campus  1957-61
    Waukesha HS South Campus  1961-62

Wyoming
Casper
    Natrona County HS  1926-30


# = Also unconfirmed reports of boys' nude gym, track, or other sports
* = Also unconfirmed reports of girls' nude swimming, gym, or other sports

    Again, if you are aware of schools not on this list, or can extend the dates, please contact paullevalley@peoplepc.com.


If you are interested in this topic, you may also be interested in two large books by Paul LeValley:
    Art Follows Nature, A Worldwide History of the Nude  [nude art]
    Seekers of the Naked Truth: Collected Writings on the Gymnosophists and Related Shramana Religions  [ancient naked philosophers in India]
You can read about both of them at http://www.paullevalley.com/books/index.htm.


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