Pomp-less Circumstance for Parents At Graduation

Tardy parents denied entry to Evergreen Park High School commencement

Do an online search for "graduation speech themes" and one of the suggestions will likely be "taking responsibility for your actions."

Some Evergreen Park parents apparently didn't heed that advice -- or thought it only applied to others -- and are now crying "that's not fair" like the teens about to commence their post-high school lives.

About 30 angry parents and family members said they were unfairly denied entry to Wednesday evening's commencement ceremony at Evergreen Park High School for being late, the Southtown Star reported.

"I'm sorry that people were not able to get in, but it was clear that there was no admittance after 6:15 p.m. and we didn't start until 10 minutes after that," said Dr. M. Elizabeth Hart, the superintendent for School District 231.  Doors opened at 5:30 p.m.

Parents reportedly offered a myriad of excuses such as bad traffic and a traffic accident to explain their tardiness, but school officials wouldn't allow the latecomers to enter the school gymnasium, where the ceremony was being held.  Parents said school officials also threatened to call police.

"I'm so hurt and disappointed," said parent Tina Franciskovich, who cried when she wasn't allowed to see her youngest son receive his diploma.  "I missed a great milestone in my son's life. He was hurt. I don't understand how they can be so cruel."

But with more than 1,000 people attending, the school's principal said it was important that latecomers not disrupt the ceremony.


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