Reading, PA School District=heartless assholes

Really? REALLY? There’s NO WAY you can make an accommodation for parents so they can see one of the most important moments of their children’s lives? Not every parent can take the day off for events like this, or can afford to take off early. It’s not their fault if there is a train, or what if there was an accident and they were stuck in traffic?

Don’t give me “If it was that important, they would be here on time” line either. Clearly, it WAS important to these parents to see their children graduate based on their reaction to being refused entry. No one was asking the school district to delay proceedings. No one was asking for a police escort for late parents to the front of the auditorium, disrupting the proceedings. Surely, these poor parents would have been cooperative with a hushed escort to a SRO spot at the back of the gym.

One family flew from out of the country to see one of the students graduate, and yet were locked out. How can you be so heartless?

All they were asking for was a chance to see their child graduate from high school. But of course its too much to ask for fat, lazy bureaucrats to come up with ways to accommodate parents who pay their bloated salaries, and instead say “That’s the policy. Deal with it”.

To make it worse, most of these parents were a few minutes late to the ceremony: the school district locked the doors FIVE MINUTES BEFORE STARTING TIME.

I’ve heard the quote “If you are 5 minutes early, you are on time. If your are on time, you are late.” Come on now, these are working class people rushing from work to see their kids graduate, not the Marines.

Reading School District: go stick your graduation UP YOUR ASS!!!

You say that like people who were actually in a position to make an exception were the ones enforcing the rules. In my experience, the people with power at a graduation are generally way too preoccupied to deal with things like this. In fact, from the link you posted, it sounds like it was the venue staff, not the school, who acted on the school officials’ orders–and venue staff’s salaries aren’t generally paid by tax payers, nor are they usually “bloated” (or, to be even more technical, “salaries”).

Additionally, if the parents were informed in advance of the policy, I’m not inclined to disagree with its enforcement. I can’t imagine trying to show up to something as important as a graduation with only 20 minutes to spare, let alone being able to find parking in that time. At my graduation, the “audience” was encouraged to show up at least 40 minutes early, lest they not be able to get a parking spot (or a seat when they finally got in).

My graduation also only had one set of doors into the auditorium, so they had no choice but to “secure them” at the start, so that the procession was smooth and picture perfect. They reopened them after that point, but there were no seats open for latecomers by then. I don’t know if that was a concern for this place or not.

Even if they had no good reason for the policy, though, I really don’t see a problem with it being enforced with proper notice. If you’re told “No admittance after 6:55”, you don’t get there after 6:55 and expect to be admitted (generally this involves getting there long before 6:55, to ensure you know where you’re going, have a parking spot, and don’t have any issues with traffic). If, for whatever reason, you can’t do that, then, well, that really sucks.

There must be a really short list of things that you really can’t be late for, like work. High-school graduation does not seem like it would merit that kind of strictness.

How big is a graduating class anyway? 100 people seems like a big chunk of the audience - I would have thought the absence of that many people would cue organisers in to the fact that there’d been hold ups in the area

Not enough information in the article. I’d want to know how full it was. There’s a difference between letting people in to slip into whole empty rows in the back versus letting people scramble in to climb over the on-time people.

665 according to the same news source.

So depending on the number of guests per student, assuming almost every student is represented, 100 could be anywhere from just under 1/6th of the audience to anything less.

Pictures here.

I’m 0 for 2 on missing the edit now, but, for anyone wondering (I’m guessing some are, as it was my first question after seeing the pictures), the venue has a seating capacity of just over 7,000, according to Wikipedia.

Holy crap. I knew American high schools are big, but… that’s one school’s graduating class?


665? That was about my graduating class at an average Orange County Ca high school.

600-700 is probably an average size graduating class in population-dense areas of the US. I’ve known of some classes that numbered over 1,000.

A quick google shows that East Plano, Texas puts out graduating classes numbering 1200-1500. Yeah, Texas, sometimes things there ARE bigger.

My sister’s HS graduating class didn’t seem very large, at only 300. Guess what their long-standing mascot was?

The Spartans. I’m not joking

My wife is Dominican.

The country is beautiful, and the people warm and friendly.

But I think it’s also fair to say that arriving on time to events is not a national priority.

Vast numbers of people do not have the luxury that you apparently do of being able to totally rearrange your schedule.

I take it that your opinion is that people should skip doctor’s appointments, or leave work early and risk being fired, or delay important car repairs, or go hungry, and so forth, simply to arrive much earlier at one particular event than any reasonable person would force them to arrive.

Besides all that, there is a large number of fairly unlikely but entirely possible events that could delay a person. The train mentioned in the article is one. There may not have been a good alternative route for those parents. The OP mentioned traffic accidents–just this week there was a huge accident in Denver that shut down a major highway for HOURS. Or maybe you plan to swing by the store on your way to pick up supplies for a celebration afterward, and you take the time to help out a person having some sort of medical emergency. There are all sorts of things that can delay a person, and many of them cannot be specifically foreseen.

Be that as it may, a school district spokesperson told the press it was the parents fault. Therefore, the ultimate responsibility is with the school district. I’m also convinced they had a bigger hand in the decision to not allow the parents in than you are implying here.

I would suggest that then your school district needed to do a better job finding a proper facility for this event. Sounds like more bloated incompetence to me.

What sucks is surely whoever from the school district running this event should anticipate that shit happens at the last minute, and to develop a procedure to accommodate those people. This is a once in a lifetime event and no parent should be denied the experience because of events out of their control.

I think the key question here is the extent to which this policy was clearly advertised beforehand. If it was made repeatedly and abundantly clear, then I have no problem with it. I don’t know whether or not it’s a good idea, but enforcing a clearly advertised policy is certainly not heartless. And if you know that the event starts at 7, doors close at 6:55, then it should take more than one single bit of bad luck for you to miss the start tie. On the other hand, there’s clearly a general understanding in American culture that if something starts at 7, and you show up at 7:05, you’ll have to sit in the back, and you might miss a few bits of it, but they won’t lock you out.

There are a few types of events that are known to actually start on time, such as weddings. But high school graduations are not, to my knowledge, one of them.

I wonder if many parents arrived in time to be there for the ceremony but if there was a logistics problem like with parking that delayed some from actually making it inside on time. If it was poorly planned, that might have been a factor. It seems unfair to the kids and parents but as someone else posted, I’m not sure if it was the school district’s decision or not. I would think that the district would have been, or should have been explicitly clear as to when they expected everyone to be ready to begin.

Yep. My class was 600. Perfectly average. My law school class was also over 600. My college graduation involved probably 2,000 recipients of various kinds of degrees.

And colleges often have an extra winter graduation for those who weren’t able to walk in the spring.

I completely understand not letting people in after a symphony or an opera has started. A high school graduation makes no sense. There’s a bunch of speeches, maybe the band plays the alma mater, school fight song, and the national anthem, and then the roll call begins.

Heck, I was pretty late to my own graduation! I’d been out shopping spending some of my graduation money and got caught up in awful traffic. Barely made it, had to park way far away, and was covered in sweat after hauling ass to get inside the arena.

It sounds good to let them quietly stand at the back. But, unfortunately, the people who can’t manage to be on time, will be the ones loudly pitching a fit to be left standing, if they spot a seat, or, ‘just wanna sit in the aisle!’. Now envision 100 such little battles!

500+ made it on time. You get delayed by your toddler puking, sorry about your luck, you can’t expect 600+ others to wait for you. Same for hit bad traffic, etc. Sorry about your luck, shit happens that no one can control.

I’m guessing this policy is a direct result of as many as 100 or more people are routinely late for events and screw it up for others.