facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

Boardman parents outraged after doors to commencement close early



Published: Tue, June 4, 2013 @ 12:05 a.m.

By Josh stipanovich

jstipanovich@vindy.com

boardman

Brian Bragg was one of several disgruntled parents and family members trying to get into Boardman High School just before 2 p.m. Sunday for its commencement ceremony.

Bragg arrived at the high school at 1:30 p.m. and waited outside for his son’s girlfriend. When they made their way to the school’s doors about 10 minutes later, police already were shutting them, he said. They told him nobody else was getting in.

Police “wouldn’t respond to anybody,” he said.

Bragg pleaded to police, and after he realized his chances at getting in were slim, he looked for anyone he knew that would let him in.

He was unsuccessful.

His son, Sebastian Bragg, received his diploma Sunday. But Brian Bragg and several other parents — who arrived about the same time — were forced to watch the ceremony on a 10-by-10-foot screen in the school’s auditorium, he said.

“It’s not even the same. You couldn’t tell who anyone was,” he said. “Words don’t explain it.”

Lisondra Mendez was there with several family members, in hopes of watching her daughter, Yahsminn Santiago, receive her diploma.

When they arrived at 1:42 p.m., the doors already were locked, she said. Mendez said police told her there was nothing they could do.

Mendez called her daughter when she found out she wasn’t going to be able to get into the gymnasium. At 2:01 p.m., after the ceremony began, Santiago came looking for her mother and family outside.

Santiago wanted police to see her, Mendez said, in hopes that they would let them inside. When that failed, they all were barred from getting into the gymnasium, Mendez said.

“My daughter was bawling,” Mendez said.

Santiago was told she couldn’t walk the stage. Instead, she received her diploma after the ceremony ended.

“The Boardman police had no right to lock those doors,” Mendez said. “There’s nothing they can do to make this right.”

Tim Saxton, the school’s principal, sent letters to each of the parents before to the commencement, he said. In it, parents were told the doors wouldn’t be closed until 2 p.m.

“I go above and beyond to communicate that,” Saxton said. “It’s not a good thing, obviously, because everything we had published and sent out and communicated was 2 p.m. ... The doors should not have been shut at 1:45 p.m. Two o’clock is what I promised the people, and I feel terrible about that.”

Sgt. Rick Balog was at the commencement and said the doors are shut at 1:45 p.m. every year for setup purposes.

“There was a miscommunication of when the doors get locked and what was written on the ticket,” Balog said.

Jack Nichols, Boardman police chief, said police did exactly what’s been done in the past. Nichols was told to be ready for complaints, but he said that as of Monday afternoon, none had come in.

Mendez said she wishes police would have reached out to parents before the doors were locked.

“These kids are never going to get this back,” Mendez said.

Saxton said he has talked to every parent who called or came to the school Monday.

Bragg and Mendez visited Saxton on Monday morning and said Saxton apologized and explained that several tickets still were available when the doors closed at 1:45 p.m. Mendez also met with Saxton, who, she said, was “very apologetic.”

“We’re going to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future,” Saxton said. “We’re going to make sure we have a lot more communication lines, how it’s going to work.”


Comments

1tdclac69(13 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Wow- those officers took away from those family members a moment that will never ever be repeated !!! I have the upmost respect for officers of the law but this incident should have never happened- very sad! My heart goes out to those family members and to the graduates!

Suggest removal:

2Doctore(52 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Has it occurred to anyone that the Officers were acting on guidance from someone? What reason would they have for deciding to close the doors at a given time on their own? Maybe someone should seek out answers, correction, factual answers, before running to the media and blaming the PD. A miscommunication has already been acknowledged, and if that is what has been done every year in the past, I think someone got their wires crossed.

Suggest removal:

3grazor50(55 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

What should be a surprise, it is just another example of government control with NO common sense involved.
No one knows why something is done, doors closed at 1:45 because it used to be that way,, common sense would play a factor that parents of students want to attend their graduation and the police could have accommodated even if it meant for them to assist in the seating,, but NO, they do as they feel and tough luck! The police motto : serve and protect is lost, CONTROL is the new system and the idea that WE the taxpayer pay their salaries has NO meaning. INSTEAD of police working to be controllers, try being a citizen first and work with the public and maybe police and citizen relationship will increase instead of the animosity that currently plays a factor

Suggest removal:

4Pyroc(111 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Sounds like less of a "Security" issue and more of a "Convenience" issue for the Cops. The sooner they locked the doors, the sooner they could get to the coffee and donuts.

Suggest removal:

5Constructor(105 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Basing a current decision on "the way we always do it" is never a good policy or excuse for doing anything. If the police weren't directly told, by school officials, they should have asked what time to seal the doors instead of ASSuming they knew. Some people just can't handle a position of authority...

Suggest removal:

6islandgrump(59 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Its sad, but when we enforce the laws to the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law. No one will benifit. So very, very sad.

Suggest removal:

7steelwagon(284 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

What the hell has happened to common sense and decency ?
Why couldn't one of those officers haved checked the parents' i.d. an escorted them inside to see their kids graduate ?

This our way or no way or go directly to jail for questioning us policy is the reason people fear the cops,don't trust the cops and usually won't co-operate or help the cops.

The only time the cops are civil and decent to the average citizen is when they need a levy passed.
The rest of the time they're policy is 'us against them"

There was no reason these folks shouldn't have be able to see their children graduate.
They missed a once in a lifetime event and there's nothing right about that.

While I understand security measures are necessary these days the police can still use common sense and be civil to the people who pay them.

Suggest removal:

8Old_School(39 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I said this on last night's thread: I was in the gym at 1:25 PM to watch my son graduate. By 1:40 every seat in the gym was full. Every seat! How do you let people into a place that is already full?

Suggest removal:

9DwightK(1236 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I guess the Boardman police figure they've passed all the levy's they'll ever need. It must be nice to be so confident in your funding that you can treat residents so badly.

Suggest removal:

10dmacker(261 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Although unfortunate, why would any parent seeking to attend his graduates ceremony wait until the very last minutes to arrive.
For something this important to them it seems they could have arrived early to assure themselves a seat.
Last minute arrivals are always somewhat disruptive to any event.
However, there may have been some extenuating circumstances that should probably have been considered by the authorities.

Suggest removal:

11walter_sobchak(1849 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

No compelling reason has been put forth to close and LOCK the doors in the first place. If limited seating, then use the stadium or a larger venue. Disruptive? C'mon, man! It is a stinking high school graduation; it's not like the president or the pope was attending. So, if at 2:20, I have to go to the restroom, would I be able to get through the locked doors? Boardman PD should remove the softballs under their arms and show some decency.

Suggest removal:

12InterestedObserver(3 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Something about this story isn't right. If the other commenters are correct, the gymnasium was full, there were no seats. Which indicates either folks without tickets had been allowed in or that somehow folks hoped to use their tickets twice to allow extra folks to come in. If that is the case, shame on those who took more seats than they had been allowed, which caused other families not to see their child graduate.

Suggest removal:

13jdforsythe(2 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

They act like this is a new scenario. The same thing happened at the 2006 commencement and I was made to sit in the auditorium with MANY other people who were locked out of the ceremony. The police weren't just being dumb, they were incredibly rude to parents who just wanted to see their kids graduate. Later we got an explanation from the Principal that there aren't enough seats. I thought that was the point of tickets. You only give out as many tickets as you have seats, and people without tickets don't go. You then don't have to lock any doors you just check tickets. It seems like they haven't learned anything in 7 years. Obviously the venue isn't large enough but nobody seems to care.

Suggest removal:

14123goz(512 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Since it is set up for a 2nd venue, they know more people show up than can fit. Why should the police think any special consideration should be made for people that got there late this year? This happens every year, nothing new here.
Even if the doors were not locked, if there were no seats, where were the last minute to get there people going to sit?
Give out tickets to parents and siblings first, aunt and uncles, etc. to first come, first serve, next. Or, rent the Covelli center.
When seeing my kids get a diploma, it meant sitting on a hard bleacher in a hot gym for 45 min. to an hour before the event. Or, I could have arrived 10 min. to and been out of luck. I chose the former.

Suggest removal:

15oakiedoky(6 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

If the problem lies with a seating issue, and you are forced to exclude parents from attending their child's commencement and this has been a past issue, why not do the ceremony on the football field or at another venue? That is where our commencement was. Our auditorium was too small to hold the family members of our graduating class so it was held at the 50 yard line. Common sense is not so common anymore. What a shame.

Suggest removal:

16endthismess(303 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Folks, voters of Boardman, the BPD have decided to run Boardman Twp. like a total police state. They are always right, no matter what. Citizens have no basic rights. This calcified, cantankerous, "I'll teach you a lesson" attitude has been silently going on for quite sometime and evolves right out of the Market St headquarters (which we citizens pay for). If their hateful mean attitudes and asses get any more hard, I wonder just who will be able to meet the metal aptitude and physical requirements for the job. The taxpayer can give and... the taxpayer can take away..... too. Remember this when it comes time to vote for what they want from us taxpaying citizens. Being hateful will never help any cause.

Suggest removal:

17123goz(512 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

BPD: sorry, parking lot is full, you will have to go elsewhere.
Voter: but I am me and want to park here.
BPD: there are no empty spaces, you can't park here.
Voter: I pay your salary and want to park here. I am me. I don't understand why there are no spaces for me.
BPD: then you should have come earlier when there were parking spaces.
Voter: but I am me and here now. you are the gestapo.
BPD: if I let you in, I will need to let every other late comer in, there will be cars in the lanes and people in legit parking spaces will be blocked. it will be chaos.
Voter: I am fickle. I will not pass your levy or the fire dept., or the school any more. I will let your ranks dwindle untill crime is rampant, house's burn to the ground, and our kid's are stupid. then I will complain about that.

Suggest removal:

18fattynskinny(195 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

BPD are a bunch of communists. locking these parents out is an outrage. they are also running around boarman charging people as criminals with no proof to these so called crimes, just so the attorneys can make a buck and then the judge has no choice but to drop the charges. that's what's going on. please don't EVER vote for another BPD levy again!!!!! and you better watch your butts, you're next.

Suggest removal:

19kensgirl(572 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Common sense says get a larger venue. So sorry for the parents and children left out in the cold. Common sense isn't so common.

Suggest removal:

20bgreene(131 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Give out tickets to mom, dad, and siblings first....then other family members....friends....

Of course in today's world there would have to be allowances for step dad, step mom, boyfriend, girlfriend, significant other, dating partner, multiple grannies and peepaws and assorted relatives thru marriage, common law relationships and facebook connections . Each graduate could conceivably have dozens and dozens of people in attendance.

Anyone who shows up minutes before such an event deserves to miss the festivities because they probably never showed much interest in the kid's entire school experience from K thru 12.

They are most likely the jerk who walk in late to the movie (disrupting other patrons), keep the dentist or doctor waiting, etc. They are also the ones most likely to hoot and holler when little darling's name is announced, disrupting the event for everyone else.

Get over it. It's not likely to be the last time your high school graduate son/daughter will provide a disappointing experience.

Suggest removal:

21harleydog(205 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

The ceremony started at 2pm sharp. There is no reason why a parent should be walking in the door at that time. I got there at 12:30 and the gym was already starting to fill up. The parents that waited till 1: 45 to show up just proves that they are idiots. I bet if they were going to a movie or ballgame they would be there a lot earlier than movie time or game time. Stop crying about it , you were warned in advance that the ceromony starte at 2. Thats when the graduates were starting to enter the gym. And the famiies that clapped after they were given instructions not to, you embarrased your self and your kd and you took away from the ceromony. You should have been thrown out.

Suggest removal:

22bubba1214(1 comment)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

My parents have always instilled in me that it is always better to be early to events. Do you think maybe they closed the doors @ 1:45 because they need to get everything underway and in order in which to start the graduation? I have been in that auditorium for a graduation in the past and let me tell you for Boardman to have such large classes you need to keep order in that room. As someone has suggested maybe they should have it in their stadium, but then again you would still have those late comers. Shame on the people blaming the police dept. they are only there doing their job and the job they are hired to do. Do you know how hard it would be to try and find the administration minutes before Commencement? The best thing to do as I stated in the beginning arrive early and you wouldn't have this problem.

Suggest removal:

23DwightK(1236 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

There will be another levy next year to build a bigger auditorium.

Suggest removal:

24Lmendez1976(5 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I'm not going to continue to beat a dead horse to the one that said they probably never show up for any events in past 13 yrs shame on you I as a divorcee raised my children on my own I NEVER EVER missed Amy game....practice or event..... I was the mom running out of work to get to cheerleading ...basketball.....football....track practice and games anyone who knows me can attest to that ....Furthermore I can't understand what is so hard for some ppl to comprehend this was not a punctuality it was an oversold issue....doesnt matter what time you got there because there was never enough room....had we arrived at 115 doors would have closed at 130 on other folks no one showed up at two or even150 for that matter so stop justifying BPD.....Mr Saxon himself stated they hsf no authority.....for goof that stated they must have been alerted of something ....yeah prob the fire Marshall .....there was nothing going on to be alerted off so get over your excuses.....And so you all know BPD repeatedly said they were contacting administration that was at 145 they never did .this per Mr Saxon himself. Not to mention the smirks coming from the tiny curly dark hair female ogficer that seem to be completely amused ......Pleeeeeeaaase spare me...they showed a true lack of humility As much SD I respect police officers I lost complete respect for BPD......they never even offered an apology to anyone but plenty of excuses.....that kind of false pride is digusting

Suggest removal:

25123goz(512 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

So you admit it was a capacity issue. If you got there earlier, you would have had a seat. Others would have been outside looking in. Correct. That is the punctual part of the story. so how are the police the problem here? What were they supposed to do? Would there be a story here if you were inside and this was somebody elses problem? This happens every year, how did you not know enough to get there early? Make the college event. Get there early.

Suggest removal:

26lumper(281 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

unless your kid is an idiot, high school graduation nowadays is way over rated. it is the law kids have to attend school and have no other real options ( working for a good wage ) if they quit at 16 or 17 yrs old.

Suggest removal:

27lumper(281 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

i know !!!! pull your remaining fat, pimple faced losers out and send them to youngstown city schools. no problems getting in at those graduation ceremonies. and don't bring your gun in - leave it in the car, which you can park anywhere you want.

Suggest removal:

28Lmendez1976(5 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I am laughing so hard right now because each negative comment sounds more and more ridiculous....you just admitted this happens every year well I would not know that since this was my first time attending .Sounds to me more of a reason to have a larger facility
According to the principal this has never occurred before where the doors closed early butaybe you ate calling him a liar....
...surely he would not want to misinterpret his school and make it look bad.....duhhhhh
For the person who said education and graduation is over rated I won't even comment on that That by far was the most ridiculous uneducated statement I have ever heard and its not only insane but completely irrelevant .I am just going to get off this page because I feel my brain cells starting to disintagrate at such lack of intelligence I have been highly entertained however.... Thank you

Suggest removal:

29grazor50(55 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Wait a minute, so to speak. Those that state that the late comers should not have gotten a seat, and got their earlier.
If the letter from Saxton (man in charge) states the doors will be open until 2pm. The guy at 1:59 with a ticket is absolutely not later than the guy that was there at 1:00 for the commencement. As was stated, if TICKETS were more plentiful than seats, then it is a school problem, but it was stated in the VINDY article,, the doors were closed at 1:45 because that was what BPD always did in the past,, poor excuse, as I stated earlier,, even at that,, the BPD could have explained that the seating was all taken, instead they held their steadfast ways:
"WE DON'T HAVE TO EXPLAIN ANYTHING, WE ARE AUTHORITY! TYPICAL!

Suggest removal:

30OddBuckeye(3 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I was seated on left side, top left section and there WAS extra seating.
We also aquired extra tickets that afternoon so if the gym was at "maximum capacity" how would I not only have the rest of the tickets for my family but also extra tickets from other people?
An additional fact, the very top row of bleachers on the left side was COMPLETELY empty! Like the covelli center, there are no "bad seats" in that gym since its small. So if someone had a ticket and arrived prior to 2pm, the right thing would be to admit them!

Suggest removal:

31dolcegirl(3 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I don't know if the doors were technically "locked", but the very thought of this disturbs me much, much more than people not getting to see their kids graduate.

Suggest removal:

32uptowngirl(105 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

The police should have respected the time printed on the ticket. At the very least they could have checked with Mr. Saxton regarding what to do with "no seats". The fact that tickets were required eludes to seats available for everyone with a ticket. I am sure some teachers would have given up seats for parents. After all this scenario was created by the BPD who are looking for a truck that ran over some geese. Perspective is everything. Get a grip that catching a goose killer is more important than serving the community that holds the purse strings.

Suggest removal:

33endthismess(303 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

Point is very obvious. The doors were to close at 2PM. This was directive told to all those graduating as well as those attending. The message on the start time was very clear...no matter who put it out....the message was out and known so.....the trouble started by the almighty BPD who think they are completely above the law in many instances. So BPD, this IS YOUR FAULT. THIS PROBLEM IS ON YOUR HANDS. BPD CREATED THIS WHOLE STINKING PROBLEM. Has nothing to do with how many seats were there to fill the crowd.

Suggest removal:

34rachey2343(1 comment)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I graduated from BHS four years ago. At our honors assembly, we were each given four tickets. There were over 400 students graduating, so that means over 1600 tickets given and the gym only holds 1600. We were told to tell our parents that when the gym fills up they cannot let anyone else in, and we were also told to tell our family to arrive early to get seats if not they will be sent to the auditorium to watch the graduation on a giant screen in the air conditioning. I was warned many times before hand that there is not enough room in the gym to fit everyone's families. I do not understand why there is such a big deal about this because the students are fully warned and told about the procedures for that day. And the girl that walked out should have known better not to leave after the ceremony had started. I cannot even express how many times we are told to be on time and to tell our parents.

Suggest removal:

35Marierned(7 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I feel sorry for those who did not get in. I would have been upset if my child was graduating. When my children graduated...the late parents did cause a problem coming late and stepping over everyone.
BPD...my sister was in a car accident 2 weeks ago and the two BPD that were there could not have been kinder and more professional. I know that there are always exceptions in every organization...but BPD officers are doing a tough job every day. I have the utmost respect for police and firefighters and EMTs...walk in their shoes for one shift...

Suggest removal:

36Jacked(1 comment)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

I was there!!!! So was 50 Boardman School district employees!!!They were in charge of the event to include the doors!!!! Not BPD!!! The police are there for security purposes at the direction of THIER EMPLOYEERS!!!

Suggest removal:

37r0n724(62 comments)posted 1 year, 1 month ago

If history is any indication...what it boils down to is this... police, no matter where you are in the country have become cocky dicks! "To Serve And Protect" has gone the same way as door to door milk delivery...and the same with a police officers civility. This is probably caused by having to deal with thug wannabes, their duck faced girlfriends...AND their parents who believe their little "gangsta" and his hoe can do no wrong!

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport