Group of inner city kids from Nashville turned away at Boro Beach

A group of inner city children from Nashville, part of a summer camp, was turned away from a popular Murfreesboro water park.

The city claims they weren’t allowed in because groups are required reserve or call ahead, but the camp director is wondering if it’s because of their race.

It happened last Friday when a bus load of 52 children from the United For Our Youth Summer Enrichment Camp at Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Nashville was turned away.

“I was really hurt. My heart was broken for the kids,” said Pastor Bishop Marcus Campbell. “The kids were so excited on the ride up to go and have fun at Boro Beach, only to be stopped at the gate and said we can’t come in because we were a group.”

Savanna Hamilton-Leggs was one of them. Before her father died, she asked him to take her to Nashville Shores but was told he couldn’t afford it. That’s why she was looking forward to Boro Beach.

“I felt really sad because I didn’t get to go. Before my dad passed away I really, really wanted to go to Boro Beach,” Hamilton-Leggs said.

“A group of white kids and adults, and they said they didn’t have no problem getting into the park,” Pastor Campbell said.The camp director said as they were being turned away, another large group left he pool.

Campbell told News 2 another smaller group of 15 people came afterward was allowed in and allowed to pay individually.

“I told the managers, I said, ‘So why don’t I give the kids their money individually because their parents paid individually so they could get into the water park.’ They said they couldn’t because they saw us as a group,” he explained.

The city said the water park has a group policy, but there was nothing posted at the pool.

“We’re trying to figure out how could we have communicated better and what areas can we make improvements to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” said assistant city manager Jennifer Moody.

Boro Beach’s website has the policy listed, but News 2 did some digging and conducted a back-in-time internet search of the webpage and discovered the policy wasn’t always there.

The city admits it was added after the group of third through eighth grade students was turned away.

“We did make edits to the website on Friday afternoon right after this happened, and that was based on feedback from that group, you know. They recommended this wasn’t posted anywhere and we didn’t know about your group policies,” Moody explained.

News 2 was also told the water park was at capacity last Friday and there could be liability and safety issue, but Campbell says that was never told to him. He’s wondering if there is another reason the children were not allowed in.Bishop Campbell said he brought several groups from the camp here to Boro Beach last year with even more children, and he said not once did he have to reserve or call ahead.

“To me a liability is, if you got a lot of people coming into a public place, you already got a liability cause it’s a group of people come in all day every day at Boro Beach, so I couldn’t understand. So the only way I could boil it down to is that they had to have a problem with the color of our skin,” Campbell said.

Moody said that’s not the case.

“We absolutely do not discriminate. As I said, we want everyone who comes to have a good experience,” the assistant city manager said. “We try to keep the price low and make it available to everyone.”

The city is trying to make things right for the group; they have invited them back on another day. The campers will be allowed to enter free of charge and even provided a free lunch.


Courtesy of WKRN News 2

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  1. Since when is SportsCom referred to as “Boro Beach”?
    Reminds me of the early ’60s, when Oaklands public swimming pool absolutely prohibited blacks.

  2. Why is always gotta be about race? I meaning that really is the reason then that’s bull**** . but sounds like the people in charge of this group didn’t do their research on the rules, so sad for those children who were no doubt heartbroken, hopefully the group leader will make it up to them somehow

    1. The pastor clearly stated that he had taken groups before, so why would he need to do further research.Also,when you have never been discriminated against it’s easy to ask “why does it have to be about race”. It has to be because white America made it that way for anyone who isn’t of the ‘white race’. If you have lived long enough,you see the answers to the question everyday. We hate that we have to be skeptical of everything, but unfortunately no one gave us a choice.

  3. So they have a policy it’s on their web page and you don’t follow it so that makes them racist? This is what’s wrong with this country if you don’t want to follow the rules at a business then you complain. He “saw a group of whites” maybe they called ahead like he should have. It’s bs like that that drowns out actual racist actions. People get so tired of hearing it when it’s not there they they tune it out

  4. What logical thinking ‘leader’ would make all the needed arrangements for a large group to be taken anywhere without checking ahead with the venue? Fifty-seven kids, added to the regular daily attendance could have really impacted the park. I would think they’d need more food, more security, and more help in general. Who would expect to be able to just show up with that many kids? And why, considering the logistics and cost of transportation, did they come all the way to the Boro, when there are plenty of parks up in Nashville?

  5. This is irresponsible journalism. A better first line would have been “poorly planned camp turned away”. When a large group of largely unsupervised children are planning to go swimming, the pool staff would be idiots to let them in without proper planning. It would be UNSAFE. Not RACIST. The camp director should have called ahead, that was poor planning on THEIR part. Why tear your community down for clicks? Disappointed in WKRN.

  6. It sounds as if the situation was merely a case of being handled poorly and the policy not clearly defined which is a shame. It is absolutely despicable that some are trying to paint this as a race thing when it was clear that the issue was a large group not calling ahead to ensure they could be accommodated. BB has even offered to shut the entire park down and have a private party just for this group for free to make it up to them! Thankfully it doesn’t appear that the pastor is playing the race card, just trying to get some additional clarity on the situation. I hope this group accepts the offer of a free private party and these kids get to have their day of fun without a bunch of adult agendas ruining it for them.

  7. This is awful and I’m ashamed for my town and the park. Is this who we continue to be in this day and age?

  8. Who was in charge of this outing? Anytime a group that large a call ahead is common practice. The children were let down because someone on their end failed to follow through.

  9. “Bishop Campbell said he brought several groups from the camp here to Boro Beach last year with even more children, and he said not once did he have to reserve or call ahead.”

    Now I don’t know if the above statement is true, but if it is, maybe they had more staff on hand that day or maybe since then they changed their policy. Of course it is pretty obvious if it is true, that it couldn’t have been a race issue, or they wouldn’t have gotten in last time. Also, can anyone confirm the crowd at Boro Beach was all white that day? Doubt it, and if other black kids were there, then this group probably got turned away, because they didn’t call ahead and they weren’t staffed for it.
    So tired of every time something doesn’t go someone’s way, who isn’t white it has to be a race issue. Why you ask, look at what the park is doing to make it up to them. Cry racism and everyone bends over backwards to prove they are not, even when they have done nothing wrong.

    I hate the kids didn’t get to go, but this is a piss poor example for these kids from this camp leader and a “Christian Bishop” at that….

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