KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The father of two teenagers who had planned a pool party at the Summit Waves water park in Lee’s Summit is calling for changes after the party was cancelled at the last minute.
Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Chris Evans said he believes the last-minute cancellation by pool officials represented “racial profiling and discrimination.”
“My kids were heartbroken the party was cancelled,” Evans said. “They are good kids who make good grades and have bright futures and do not deserve to be treated like this.”
Isaiah Evans, 17, and Chris Evans, 15, had planned a pool party at the waterpark. They had a signed contract with the city and had pre-paid $2,000 for the event.
But on the day of the event, the family found out that park officials had canceled the party, and despite refunding the family the money, questions remained about the last-minute cancellation.
“On the day of the party, my teenage sons showed up to the park at 6:20 p.m.,” Evans said. “They were told by Summit Waves staff it was cancelled and were not given an explanation why.”
On Monday, Lee’s Summit spokesperson Melissa Pfannenstiel released a statement that the event had been canceled because of social media advertising of the event that raised the city’s concerns over safety and the capacity of the facility.
The spokesperson further indicated the city had made attempts to contact the family in advance but had been unable to reach them until just hours before the event.
"Lee's Summit says it made multiple attempts to contact us about concerns before the event however the employee called my business line on a non-business day, that doesn’t get checked on weekends," Evans said.
“Lee’s Summit says it was concerned the party was advertised on social media,” the boys’ father said. “Nothing on the contract we signed prevented my sons to invite friends to the party.”
Also on Tuesday , Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird called on the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to “address certain processes that should have been undertaken, could have alleviated obvious safety concerns.”
In a statement, he wrote: 'Unfortunately, statements were made by a Parks and Recreation manager at Summit Waves that were inappropriate and insensitive. We must intentionally embrace a culture that is welcoming and inclusive, and we must continually denounce any urge or impulse to exclude. I want to expressly denounce comments posted by a Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation employee on social media. The comments were appalling and not condoned by Parks and Recreation, and are inconsistent with the culture I know the City of Lee’s Summit strives to reflect.'
Evans wants the City of Lee's Summit to address the hiring, training, and development of employees.
The Evans family and their attorney are considering legal action against the City of Lee's Summit, requesting an apology and a conversation about diversity education and what could be improved.