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Streator High graduation policy prevented latecomers from entering

About a dozen people, including parents, were kept out of Streator High School's graduation ceremony Sunday when they arrived after it began.

Superintendent Matt Seaton said the high's school policy was followed.

In 2017, the board decided to close the ceremony to visitors once it started. The reason for the policy was to maintain security and not disturb the ceremony, Seaton said.

Security measures included officers conducting bag checks prior to the event, no backpacks allowed at the event and officers monitoring the proceedings once the ceremony started. This left fewer officers for security at entrances.

Seaton said students were reminded at least three times of the policy and notices were sent home. Doors for the graduation opened 90 minutes prior to its start.

He said this year was the first time an issue had been raised over the policy, noting others who were previously turned away left the ceremony.

Two different parents called The Times on Tuesday saying they had tickets but were not allowed into the ceremony because they arrived late, not knowing of the policy. They said they watched the ceremony from their phones outside the entrance. The event was livestreamed on the school's website. They weren't allowed into the school until the ceremony had ended.

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