Update: POLAHS Graduation Marred By Fake Tickets and Over-Capacity

(From left to right) Milvia Orantes, Helen Orantes, Evelyn Orantes, and Merin Orantes. The children, Valerie Alvarado and Timothy Alvarado. They were waiting to see Marilyn Orantes walk the stage (not pictured).

By Zamna Avila, Assistant Editor

At least one hundred parents, family members and friends of some Port of Los Angeles High School students were left out of the graduating ceremony, June 21, that took place inside of the Warner Grand because the theater was filled to capacity. All the families waiting outside had tickets.
Each graduate was given six tickets.

Parent Virginia Ramos, whose son Luis Enriquez was part of the graduating class, said they could have at least allowed the parents to witness the graduation Her daughter, Evelyn Enriquez was visibly upset as she stood with her mother with a sign to congratulate her older brother.

“They said they were going to see if they could at least allow the parents to go in and they never came back,” Ramos said.

Jacquelyn Valdez, Kevin Andrade, Antenas Mercado, who were supposed to walk the stage during, left the ceremony early and stood outside with their parents. The graduates they didn’t see a point in walking the stage if their parents couldn’t be there. This year marked the first full graduating class where the students spent all four years at Port of Los Angeles High School.

“They said that people made copies and that they could say who,” said María Valdez, Jacquelyn’s mother. It’s illogical the she graduates when her family is outside. That’s what the teachers should understand, more so, the principal, should understand. I was very disappointed because it is the last daughter I have to graduate and I was very proud and happy, but with what happened today I was so disappointed — not the school but the teachers and the people had control of the entrance.

Three graduates, Jacquelyn Valdez, Kevin Andrade, Antenas Mercado walked out of the ceremony before even walking the stage to accept their diplomas.

Mrs. Valdez said they should have been more meticulous about the tickets or held the ceremony a larger venue. Now, it’s too late and there is nothing they can do to make it up.

Gabriela Eddy, whose daughter Tabitha, sung the national anthem at the opening of the reception, agrees.

She said she was pushed against the wall by a staff member and escorted out of the building by a police officer because she wanted to see her daughter singing on stage.

“I couldn’t see here and when I just tried to ask, ‘Please, let me see her standing and I’ll leave. I have tickets,’ and they pushed me,” Mrs. Eddy retold. “They threw me against the wall and then they called the police.”
The next day, Principal Gaetano (Tom) Scotti met with some parent and was cordial taking responsibility for the incident, Mrs. Eddy said. She said the principal offered a letter, a program and video of the ceremony to the parents who were not allowed at the ceremony.



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