Some kids were kicked out of a park in Newberry

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- Some Newberry residents are angry over the treatment of kids at a local park yesterday afternoon. Imagine if your kids came to the park to do what they do every day, play with their friends, But, somebody was at the gate saying they couldn't use the public place. That's exactly what happened yesterday at Martin Luther King Jr. Community Park.

An afterschool program, contracted with the city, used the park, not allowing any of the neighborhood kids to play at the place they go to on a daily basis.

"The City Manager told me that they had the right to do that," Concerned Citizens Group Spokesman Lewis King said. "I told him you may have the right to do it, but the issue is that there are ways to do things."

Newberry Mayor Jordan Marlowe says not only was the situation not handled correctly, but the timing had a big impact as well.

"We were culturally insensitive when we failed to recognize we are going into the MLK celebrations this weekend and we really want to encourage our residents to reflect on the lessons and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," he said.

Marlowe says the big issue was a lack of communication, and that it won't happen again.