Parents turned away from child's school play

April 26, 2013 2:41:56 PM PDT
A group of parents in Harnett County are upset after they were told they could not watch their children in an elementary school performance.

Overhills Elementary said there was not enough room in the auditorium, but parents said they should not be penalized for that.

When LaTonya Smith and her husband learned their daughter Jasmine would be singing and dancing at the school's performance, they made plans to go.

The school warned parents there was limited room, so Smith said she tried to RSVP online.

"Not only that I delivered a note to the teacher saying please know I'm attending the leadership day, I tried to RSVP but the website said it was full," Smith said.

Smith said she and her husband came to the school an hour before the event was scheduled to start, hoping to snag a spot, only to have the assistant principal tell them they needed to leave.

"I said let me understand this clearly, you're telling me even though this is a public school and I'm here to see my child, I have to leave, that I can't even go in to see my child and say hey, I love you, but mom can't stay. I was told no you have to leave."

Smith said police were called in to make sure she and other parents left peacefully.

She said the worst part of the situation was letting down her daughter.

"I assured her I would be there, she's my youngest child, 7 years old, so she is really eager about me coming to school and supporting her," Smith said.

The superintendent told ABC11 that the school only had room for 200 people at the program and that any more would violate the fire code.

The parents ABC11 spoke with were angry that the venue was not changed if administrators knew there was not enough space to accommodate everyone. They suggested the high school and middle school that are located across the street from the elementary school.

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