Skip to comments.Conn. youth group evicted from KC hotel
Posted on 08/10/2009 10:04:15 AM PDT by South Hawthorne
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Dozens of children with a Connecticut youth group and their parents were kicked out of a Kansas City hotel in the middle of the night this week after hotel officials said they had gotten tired of fielding noise complaints from other guests.
But members of the Nation Drill Squad and Drum Corps, based in New Haven, claim their eviction from the Sheraton Kansas City Sports Complex Hotel culminated several days of what they called prejudicial treatment because they are black.
"Everyone should be respected regardless of your skin color," said Douglas Bethea, director of the group of 32 drummers and dancers, ages 4 to 17.
Bethea's group arrived at the hotel Sunday to participate in the Elks Grand Lodge World National Championships, a competition for youth drill and dance teams, which was held at another Kansas City hotel.
He claimed the group, which included more than a dozen chaperones, received poor treatment almost from the start with some of their 10 rooms lacking toilet paper and members having to wait two days for their rooms to be cleaned by housekeeping.
Ted Frerking, the hotel's general manager, said his staff received several noise complaints over the first three days, which they relayed to the group's leaders. He said he didn't know of any toilet paper supply problems and housekeepers may not have made the beds because the guests had left personal items on them and staff are prohibited from touching guests' property.
The group won numerous trophies at the competition Tuesday and returned to the hotel in high spirits, said Titiana Person, a parent of three drill squad members who was a chaperone on the trip.
She said hotel staff warned the group's adults about noise after some of the children came back from the swimming pool and were visiting each others' rooms.
"They were being typical kids," Person said. "They (hotel officials) wanted us to go in our rooms and stay in our rooms. That's not possible."
Frerking said the group was given a final warning at 10:30 p.m. and told that subsequent complaints would result in the group being asked to leave.
By 1:15 a.m., Bethea and Person said the children had settled down while some of the adults sat in one room, talking and laughing. They said a hotel official came to the room and said they were being evicted.
"He comes to the door and says, 'You people have to leave this hotel now ... or we will call the cops and they will come move you by force,'" Bethea said. "When they came to kick us out everyone was asleep."
He claimed eight officers came upstairs immediately and, armed with stun guns and Mace, helped hotel security pull group members from their beds.
"I was scared to hear cops with Tasers and things like that," said drummer Ronald Huggins, 17. "The kids were scared, we were scared. We didn't know what to expect."
Kansas City police spokesman Darin Snapp disputed parts of the account, saying there were only five officers at the hotel and they were present only to "keep the peace."
"At no time did we ever enter rooms or pull out Tasers or Mace; we didn't have to," Snapp said.
Frerking said his hotel's security doesn't carry stun guns or Mace. He denied the eviction was based on race.
"The only issue was noise," he said. "If other guests hadn't complained we would never know."
The group left Kansas City on Wednesday, and the hotel reimbursed the group for the two nights it didn't stay at the hotel. But Bethea said he is considering his legal options.
"What about the pain and suffering and the crying and the kids being woken up and scared half to death?" he said.
I had no idea there was so much racism still afoot in the United States!
I just thought people went around acting in a reasonable, respectful, considerate manner, interacting with eachother in a spirit of candor and goodwill, kind of like my family and I do (and come to think of it, every other person I associate with).
Nothing like this ever happens to us.
We must just be really lucky I guess.
Wonder how many of them ski?
I could tell from the story headline alone that this story was going to be about cops “acting stupidly.”
Invite them to the White House for a beer.
The adults are as bad as the kids are, and the entire group acts as if they are entitled to use the entire facility for their own entertainment, without regard to the rights of the other guests.
If they want to run wild, they should reserve a campsite.
My guess is there was discrimination. Hotel probably let it go further than if white kids were involved.
I’ll bet you nailed it.
I’ve stayed in hotels many times when large groups of kids have been there (cheer squads, athletic teams, etc.). Some have been respectful, some have been loud and annoying, and race hasn’t had a thing to deal with it.
I’ll bet this coach and his chaperones didn’t have control of the kids and they ran wild, or maybe they just didn’t care.
Had the same experience last week in Nashville with a white, Christian “youth group”.
The hours of door slamming led me to change rooms to another floor
and I still had to call the front desk twice during the night to complain
about them running wild down the halls and talking at the top of their
Why hotels allow this and create such an unpleasant experience for
their adult guests is beyond me!
I live in New Haven. Do I believe that these kids may have caused multiple disturbances at this hotel? Yep. Do I blame the kids? Not really. Inner city kids don’t typically travel a lot, so it’s up to the adults to teach them proper ‘travel do’s and dont’s’. Anyway, expect them to get invited to the White House for a beer. /s
Kids with drums and bugles have a hard time keeping the peace when all they know to do is cause loud noises. People need to be considerate of others in public places like hotels. If they don’t have consideration of others, they should be tossed as these kids and their parents were.
See, not once did I mention race.
"Not possible." You mean it's not possible to get your spawn to act in a respectful manner in a public place? Not run up and down hallways late at night and make excessive noise, but walk from room to room? Keep their voices down to a reasonable indoor level when they're in rooms? I sure hope you're a better parent than you're a chaperone, Ms. Person.
Response: In today's environment these people are The Bright One's. The Happy One's. They who make the laws, the customs and the rules. The hotel in the main report was right; but they are going to pay.
I’ve had the experience of staying at a hotel during summer vacation and it was just two couples with six kids between them.
The hotel was filled and they could not move the hubby and I to another room but the kids screamed and shouted all night. Took over the swimming pool all day. Played elevator tag and didn’t understand what the term “line” was at the free breakfast buffet.
Talk about trying to get away from it all.
I don’t care if the kids were purple....there seems to be a lack of parental discipline and respect with these youngsters.
Ahhhhhhhh, but who will teach the adults?
My family stayed in Cocoa Beech one year while there was an inner city youth basketball competition being hosted nearby.
Every guest who wasn’t a part of these gangs (calling it like it is) were disgusted and looking for another hotel by the second night. No chaperons, kids using language that even I was shocked by, even little kids being hurt in the pool by the kids not caring it they hurt them or not.
I’ve seen animals acting more civilized in packs than they were, and when we told the hotel why we were leaving they refunded us our money and they said we could rebook without fear, they would never allow a group like this in their place again.
“”They were being typical kids,” Person said. “They (hotel officials) wanted us to go in our rooms and stay in our rooms.”
This says it all. I’ve been in hotels and on cruises where the parents treat the building or the ship as their personal babysitter, letting the kids run wild and screaming with no supervision of any kind...while the parents get drunk at the bar or gamble in the casino.
Good point! When people misbehave and refuse to modify their behavior out of respect for the other hotel guests, they need to realize that there are repercussions.
One noise warning should have been enough. If one of my kids was part of a crew like that I’d be on the side of the hotel. It would be a good learning lesson about not misbehaving while being a guest at someone else’s establishment.
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