Missouri Water Park Apologizes After Catching Heat For Canceling Black Teens' Pool Party Reservation

Summit Waves Water Park in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, has come under fire for allegedly mistreating a Black family, refusing to let them and their guests enter the premises.

The interaction was caught on camera. The video shows a white employee, accompanied by a police officer, not allowing a Black crowd into the water park based on the employee “not being comfortable.”

It’s worth adding that the party had made prior arrangements to celebrate a birthday party at the park.

@zaii_steppa She canceled my Birthday party because our melanin made her uncomfortable. Im forever traumatized 💔 #racism #trending ♬ original sound – Yrk Zai

Another video of the incident shows the employee in question saying that the group’s birthday party reservations were canceled because of “the outrage [she] got on social media” and because “it’s not an event that [Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation] is comfortable hosting.”

She also asserted that the park reserved the right to cancel a reservation at any time. After reiterating that the establishment was “not comfortable” with the event, some people in the group began accusing them of racism, which the employee denied.

@zaii_steppa She even said we had to wait to be refunded our money … #trending ♬ original sound – Yrk Zai

Word of the situation swiftly began spreading like wildfire. The father, Chris Evans, provided further details on the interaction during a press conference earlier this week, Daily Mail Online reports.

Evans said he had signed a $2,000 contract with the park to host a party of 250 guests. The event was for his 17-year-old son’s birthday, though Evans says that his family was told that the party “doesn’t represent Lee’s Summit Wave,” Daily Mail Online reports.

“It appears to have been canceled simply because the park staff was uncomfortable with a group of Black teenagers having a pool party to enjoy the end of the summer,” Evans said.

However, in a series of statements made earlier this week, Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation (LSPR) shared the employees’ side of the story — alleging that the booking party violated the terms of the contract by advertising the private event on social media and pulling up with “approximately 500 teens.

“On the evening of Thursday, August 4, Summit Waves staff was made aware of a social media post advertising an event called ‘Splash Blast 2’ from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Summit Waves. On the morning of Friday, August 5, Summit Waves staff called the renting party, left a message inquiring about the social media post, and requested a return call. LSPR did not receive a return call,” the park’s most recent statement reads.

“LSPR made the decision to cancel the event at 5 p.m. [on Aug. 6] due to the inability to contact the renting party. Safety pertaining to the anticipated crowd size and the potential impact it might have on party guests and the staff was the sole reason for the cancellation,” the statement continues.

It’s also worth adding that LSPR revealed that “staff failed to arrange security for the event,” a service the family paid for while booking the event.

“A sincere apology is owed to the Evans family and our Lee’s Summit community,” LSPR noted in the statement, referring to the situation as a “miscommunication” that resulted in a full refund.

A call between park officials and the Evans family went down on Wednesday, though it’s unclear how everything panned out.

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