Florida Senator Calling for Investigation into Live Oak Motel

Live Oak Econo Lodge
Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-11 08:44:14-04

LIVE OAK, Fla. (WTXL) - A Florida senator is calling for an investigation into a Live Oak motel after visiting students claim they encountered racism while on a school trip.

Earlier this month, a group of about 90 adults and teenagers from Flint, Mich. were wrapping up a college tour when one of their buses broke down. They spent the night at the Econo Lodge motel in Live Oak.

The group's coordinator Blake Odum says the staff at the motel antagonized them throughout the night, even using racial slurs when addressing the students. The group also says management demanded they leave the hotel early the next morning.

Following the incident, Odum says the hotel company's vice president reached out to the group, sending a letter that said, "Please be assured that we are thoroughly investigating all aspects of this incident. It is important to us that our franchised hotels uphold our values and ethics."

Senator Dwight Bullard, a Miami Democrat and the leader of the Black Caucus in Florida, is now asking Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for an investigation into those claims.

"If this incident did in fact take place then I am looking to see immediate action from the Attorney General's office along with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. This type of behavior has no place in Florida or anywhere else in the world," said Sen. Bullard.

In the meantime, all the media attention has Sheriff Tony Campbell defending his community, saying racism is not a problem, "We are all living together, working together as one county. It's a great place to raise your children."