One of the proudest moments of Melvin Cox’s life would have been to see his daughter graduate with honors from Spelman College. Yet, the potential memory of his daughter’s cap and gown moment was allegedly robbed from him, when he — and other parents — reportedly arrived at the school’s graduation ceremony late and were therefore locked out of the event, according to WSBTV.
Talking with WSBTV about missing his daughter’s graduation, which took place on Sunday at 3 p.m. sharp, Cox said, “It is unacceptable, and it’s something that needs to be addressed today.” According to the disturbed dad, the event’s doors were locked by security guards at 2:30 p.m.
Cox said he flew in from Oakland, Calif., and spent more than $1,400 in airfare and accommodations to attend the event. When he and other parents of the graduating class asked to be allowed entry in to the ceremony, security guards reportedly refused — allegedly using verbal threats.
Cox, along with the other parents who were locked out, are incensed about the school’s seemingly unreasonable policy and are demanding that the college reassess it. “To simply turn us away, to at one point call the Sheriff’s Department, and to threaten us with arrests, I mean it’s just not right,” Cox told WSBTV.
Cox, who admits that he and his daughter cannot even bring up the graduation without becoming emotional, added, “One of the memories of the day would be a mother from New York, I believe, with tears welled up in her eyes just standing there in the rain, not believing this was happening to her and her family.”
Spelman responded to the accusations by the miffed parents, saying:
There are guidelines and protocols in place as safety measures, including no access to the facility after a certain time, and no exit and re-entry. These guidelines and protocols are conveyed in a series of communications, beginning in the fall semester of the academic year and throughout the spring semester, leading up to Commencement.
According to Cox, he has received letters from the academic institution but no specific info was relayed to him with regards to the graduation ceremony and any conditions that he should have been mindful of. “There is no excuse because something very precious, very near to me has been stolen from me,” he laments.
Cox is so upset with the school that he has vowed to not give them another red cent in financial support.
Meanwhile, Cox says that he will write Spelman a “stern letter” to discuss his dismay with regards to the unfortunate turn-of events that occurred during his daughter’s graduation ceremony that he was forced to miss.