BROOKSVILLE — The graduates have left the stage at Hernando High School, but the bad feelings are lingering after dozens of parents and family members were excluded from watching Tuesday night's ceremony in person.
On Monday, school district officials will try to repair some of the damage at a 6 p.m. meeting for parents in the school's performing arts center.
That's the room where dozens of ticket-holding parents were sent to watch graduation on television after the gymnasium was filled to capacity.
While some family members eventually were seated in the gym after nearly 70 teachers and staffers offered up their seats, other parents were reduced to shouting in frustration through a chain-link fence or berating law enforcement officers who were guarding the closed gym doors.
School officials disputed reports from early-arriving parents that the doors to the gym were closed more than 45 minutes before the 7:30 p.m. event.
However, incoming principal Ken Pritz already has approved a plan to hold next year's commencement ceremony outside at the school's football stadium.
Fielding questions from disgruntled parents could prove to be a tougher challenge.
"I've received about a half-dozen calls," superintendent Wayne Alexander said Friday. "We're going to try to address concerns, explain what happened and why it happened. Try to explain something that shouldn't have happened."
Tom Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431.