SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Hundreds of people were locked out of a Sacramento high school graduation ceremony on Wednesday night despite many of them having tickets in hand.
“We can’t get this moment back. My child, 17 years, I can’t get it back,” said Shana Hunter, with tears swelling up in her eyes.READ MORE: Monday's Show Info (5/23/22)
“It would be better if they were in,” said Hunter’s son John, “cheering for me and stuff.”
Their was frustration and disappointment outside of an otherwise joyous celebration.
More than 500 students from John F. Kennedy High school planned to walk across the stage.
“Everybody was waiting patiently for over an hour and then they just proceeded to close the doors on us,” said Hunter.
Shana Hunter was one of roughly 200 people that were kept outside of the John F. Kennedy High School graduation Wednesday night.
The building reached capacity.
“There is a lot of heartache out here,” said Donna Ramos, another family member of a graduate.
“People drove from miles to see my son graduate,” said Hunter, “and they just robbed us of it.”
“Ultimately not everyone was able to get in,” said Gabe Ross with the Sacramento City Unified School District.
Ross says there was a perfect storm of late arrivals, and fake tickets.READ MORE: Firefighting Agencies Prep For Intense Fire Conditions
“We certainly apologize for the inconvenience, confusion and upset that it caused,” continued Ross.
Each student was given four tickets. Family and friends could then purchase up to four more for $5 each.
Ross says there were some counterfeit tickets at the venue.
He’s says they’re looking at ways to improve the ticketing and graduation process moving forward.
“We don’t have barcodes and scanners. It’s volunteers,” said Ross, “tickets are generally on card stock.”
Bryan Chatterton, the Event Services Manager with Memorial Auditorium says the school system may also be at fault.
“The school sold too many tickets and may not have included students or faculty in the count,” said Chatterton.
“Somebody does need to be held accountable,” said Hunter.
The school system insists they undersold the event.
There were no other problems with counterfeits reported at any other graduations in the system this year.
Memorial Auditorium hosted about 30 graduations this year.MORE NEWS: 1 Taken To Hospital In Elk Grove Shooting
Chatterton says they didn’t have any other issues.