LEE’s SUMMIT, Mo. (WDAF) — Community support is growing for a Kansas City area family who claim they’ve been racially discriminated against.
The Evans Family, including their two teenagers, said they’d paid $2,000 to host a large birthday bash for their two teenagers this weekend at Summit Waves, a popular water park. However, when they showed up for Saturday’s party, pool managers wouldn’t allow them inside the park and canceled the party. Water park directors told the family they were uncomfortable with the gathering.
Chris Evans, the two teenagers’ father, complained to Lee’s Summit city officials this happened because his family is African-American, and the city’s department of parks and rec is discriminating against them.
On Monday, a small gathering of protestors gathered outside Summit Waves’ front gates, voicing their disapproval of how this conflict was handled. Protestors said they didn’t know the Evans family personally, but they’d read social media posts indicating the family had a signed contract, permitting as many as 250 teenagers to attend.
However, a statement from the City of Lee’s Summit indicated the family had advertised the party on social media, leading around 500 people to show up for Saturday’s soiree, which is around twice the number they’d agreed to.
“That’s how I feel — that they were judged by the color of their skin and that these are African-American teenagers, and she may have felt uncomfortable, but if they paid and signed a contract, then they should have been allowed to come in,” Sarah Washington, a protestor, said.
Ivan Nugent, the Evans family attorney, told FOX4 on Monday said so far, the family hasn’t received a refund or an apology.
“We’d like to see more acceptance of diversity in the suburbs. We’d like to see more acceptance of diversity, specifically in Lee’s Summit,” Laura Logan, another protestor, said.
In a statement to FOX4, the city explained water park managers canceled the party because too many people showed up.
“After multiple attempts to reach the renter in advance of the event to discuss safety concerns, a connection was not made until the hours leading up to the event. At that point, the only recourse was to cancel the event,” read the statement.
Protestors said the Evans family deserves an apology at the least. That city statement indicates they want to work with the family — but gatherings have to be safe.