Single mother says she was locked out of daughter's graduation ceremony

There were some tense, tough moments for a few families at Freeman Coliseum this weekend after they were kept out of a high school graduation.

SAN ANTONIO - It's not every day that your child graduates from high school.

Being outside of the venue during the ceremony, is probably not how you'd expect to spend the big day.

That was the reality for many family members on Saturday who couldn't get into Freeman Coliseum, during East Central (San Antonio) High School’s graduation.

Raquel Garcia is an aunt to one of the graduates. She recorded a video of a woman, visibly upset, banging on the doors of the coliseum, and crying.

“She started telling me that her husband had died four years ago … she was the only parent that this young lady had,” Garcia said.

Raquel said officers at the door told them the building was at capacity.

A spokesperson for the Freeman Coliseum told 12 News partner station KENS the Bexar County Fire Marshal made that call. They eventually let people in as others came out.

“We walked in and realized my niece had already walked the stage, which is pretty upsetting, especially for my mom being 78 years old, of course she wants to see her grandkids graduate,” Garcia said.

Derrick Howard, executive director of the venue, tells us this is an issue with many schools.

He said, with up to 750 students walking, the crowds are just getting too big.

Howard said it's up to each district to implement some sort of ticket system -- something he will strongly encourage school district to do next year.

A similar situation happened at Freeman Coliseum on Sunday with Madison High School's graduation.

A spokesperson there tells us the principal sent out reminders telling parents to arrive early.

ECISD sent us their statement:

"ECISD deeply regrets anyone being denied access to the graduation ceremony… this year, the issue was exacerbated by short notice of limited parking and increased traffic due to a simultaneous event at the AT&T center... ECISD will continue to review options and choose what is most beneficial for our community."

© 2017 KENS-TV


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