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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Ticket counterfeiting suspected in River Ridge High School graduation mess

The email complaints started flowing in soon after the River Ridge High School graduation ceremony ended.

Upset parents were angry, to put it mildly, that they could not watch their children graduate in the school gym despite having tickets for the event.

"I have had five children graduate from River Ridge over the past seven years, and have never had to watch one graduate via camera until my baby graduated yesterday," parent Janet Denerstein wrote. "He was given his allotted amount of tickets; but at the door we were told the tickets counted for nothing."

The problem, it appears, was false tickets. 

School Board member Alison Crumbley, who attended, said she saw dozens of people holding tickets were denied entrance.

"The place was packed," Crumbley observed. "There were no empty seats."

Parent Diane Rodelli expressed dismay at how this could happen. She also listed other concerns she had with the commencement.

"This very special day should have been much different," Rodelli wrote. "Hopefully, you can resolve these problems for future graduates and families."

District spokeswoman Linda Cobbe said officials are investigating the counterfeiting of entry passes, and they have a suspect in mind.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 10:16am]


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