MIAMI – A group of elected officials and community leaders stopped a teenage party from being held next month at a famous South Florida strip club.
Officials said the party was supposed to be held June 9, on the last day of the school year, at King of Diamonds in Miami.
"King of Diamonds, which is an adult entertainment strip club, should not have anyone in the club under 18. My office has received calls from parents who are very upset that this would of have been allowed to happen," state Rep. Barbara Watson, D-Miami Gardens, said. "This sends the wrong message to our youth and should not be allowed to happen. According to the Department of Justice, South Florida is the third busiest area for sex trafficking. This does not help in any way. We are not trying to interfere with KOD's business. However, when it affects minors, we have to speak up."
The party, which was advertised on social media for middle and high school students in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, was promoted by TRAP Music Entertainment.
"In order for it to be a strip club, (there) would have to be strippers in there," Steve Hirsch, a promoter for Trap Music Entertainment, said, adding that dancers and alcohol would not have been available.
Hirsch said he chose King of Diamonds for the party because of its size, and that he makes sure to select locations that are insured, have security and are in locations where local law enforcement can work off-duty details.
"There's a lot of things that go on in Miami Gardens, as far as kids losing their lives, and no one's speaking about that," Hirsch said. "But I put up a venue for kids to give them something to look forward to for the summer, and they take that away and make it a big issue."
Officials said tickets were on sale from April 8 through May 20, but the party has since been canceled by management, who also was not on board with the event when they found out it involved minors.
"They also agreed with us that this would not be the type of party they (would) want to host," Watson said.
"It is our social responsibility to protect our children," Miami-Dade County Commissioner Barbara Jordan said in a statement. "Although I've been told that there would be no alcohol served or dancers present, the primary function of this venue is still a gentleman's club. If you put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig. It is unacceptable and inappropriate to expose teenaged children to a highly sexualized environment."
Officials said about 350 tickets were purchased for the event.
Community leaders said they want parents to get involved in stopping their children from attending these type of parties and fear that the promoter will move the party to another location.
"If they change it to another place will you still go?" Local 10 News reporter Shyann Malone asked one student.
"Yeah, I'll go, but it ain't going to be much excitement as it's going to be at KOD," the student said.
Hirsch maintains he is working with another venue for the event. He said he will honor any student's request for a refund.