Parents Say School Board Member Blocks Seats for Friends at Graduation Ceremony

School Board Chair Abby Freedman in front of her reserved section marked off by paper “seat holders” at Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ graduation ceremony. Her section allegedly consisted of at least 24 seats said witnesses at the event.

By: Sharon Aron Baron

When a parent is waiting for that special moment to see their son or daughter graduate from high school, they want an equal chance just like anyone else to get the best seats at the ceremony.

But how would you feel if you lined up for over an hour in the corridors, or even outside of the venue in the heat, only to find out a whole section of seats were roped off by a school board member for her friends?

This is what happened at the graduation ceremony for Marjory Stoneman Douglas on June 3, at Nova Southeastern University, and what sources said happens every year: School Board Member Chair Abby Freedman cordons off seats for friends in her district.

Reserved section for Broward County School Board Chair Abby Freedman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas’ graduation ceremony.

When parents receive tickets, they are for general seating, so the first ones that get there – or the first ones that line up, generally get the closest seats. According to witnesses who were at the graduation, even though the ceremony had general seating, Freedman prevented access to the general public to an area in a front section on the right side of the stage. Nor was it available to the families of the valedictorian or salutatorian’s families. When they tried to sit in the empty seats, Freedman yelled at them to leave.

The sad part was that once the ceremony started, and after keeping people out of “her” section, a whole row of seats were left unfilled said parents.

Freedman, doesn’t make a point of reserving sections at any other high school graduation in her district in the North part Broward County, only at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where students from both Coral Springs and Parkland attend.

“First of all, she shouldn’t be doing it for any high school,” said a parent. “These parents wait in line for over an hour for the best seats, and she shouldn’t get preferential treatment as a board member.”

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.


Follow on Twitter Connect on Facebook Find on Google+ View all Posts
  • Andrew Ladanowski

    My daughter’s graduation kept getting interrupted by late individuals. It was getting annoying.

  • I get the excitement of graduating from high school, but when we did this back in the 70s was it really this

    I remember the cap and gown but I also remember it was in the dingy high school gymnasium and pretty much the principal saying I can’t believe you s**t heads made it, good luck and try not to get killed.

    Now it’s like a fracking coronation ceremony.

    • Lisa

      you also probably had a smaller class…this graduation would never fit in any school gymnasium, thats why they put it in the larger venues. When I graduated, we were on the football field, but in Florida between heat and rain, not such a good idea.