Middletown School officials apologized today to parents who were shut out of the district’s high school graduation Tuesday evening even though they had tickets. School officials said they were told by church officials hosting the event that a side door had been held open allowing people without tickets to enter and fill the facility to capacity. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Parents shut out of Middletown High School graduation

Middletown High School apologizes after some people with tickets were denied access.

“Middletown High School wishes to apologize to anyone who had a ticket for graduation and was denied access after the ceremony began at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the exact number of seats available in the auditorium were issued. Each main door had security supplied by Princeton Pike (Church Of God),” Middletown High School Principal Carmela Cotter wrote in a released statement posted on social media.

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“Following graduation, the management of Princeton Pike alerted us that someone inside the building had gone to a door and let in several people without tickets. The result was capacity was reached. Thus, the (Butler County) sheriff (deputies) closed the access doors at 7:15 p.m.”

“Graduation is a very special time for every student and parent. We are very sorry if any ticketed parent or family member was denied entrance and will take into account this security challenge when organizing future events,” wrote Cotter.

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The Butler County school graduated 375 seniors during the ceremony Tuesday night. Families were issued a limited number of tickets and had to show those to gain entrance to the Liberty Twp. church.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office said it was called by church officials to the event, but there were no incidents reported nor arrests from the scene.

Officials at Princeton Pike Church Of God did not respond to a request for comment.

In a Facebook post, a parent claimed: “Omg what a horrible graduation ceremony… So you treat the families to these kids like we were criminals why?”

The writer said her husband, who had a ticket but did not enter with his family because he was parking the family car, was not allowed in.

“They locked him out and I had already given them his ticket. Wow very sad that this happened and he wasn’t the only one locked out.” said the Facebook post.

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