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Student barred from walking in Reading High graduation, escorted out by police

Posted at 12:08 AM, Jun 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-08 00:20:16-04

SHARONVILLE, Ohio -- Khaliah Pryor arrived at the Sharonville Convention Center Wednesday night ready to walk across the stage and accept his diploma. Police escorted him out empty-handed in tears.

"He just wanted to feel included," his mother, Lolita Pryor, said. "It was hard to stand outside with my son, with family and friends to call them up. It was an embarrassment."

Khaliah, who has attention deficit disorder and attention deficit hyperactive disorder, among other conditions, attended all four years of high school at Children's Home but qualified to walk in Reading High School's graduation based on where he lived. 

However, when he approached the line of graduating seniors, a school employee stopped him.

"'You're not graduating, so I'm going to have them escort you out,'" he recalled the employee saying. 

Superintendent Chuck LaFata said Pryor's name was not on the night's list of graduates because he had failed to appear at a mandatory meeting that each was required to attend. Pryor said he never knew about any such meeting; LaFata claimed the student was given notice but simply failed to appear.

"They never told me nothing at all," Pryor said.

His mother said the same. According to her, the family never received any information about the meeting and would not have been able to hear the in-school announcements that reminded Reading High students.

She said she didn't understand why the district couldn't make an exception.

"It was unacceptable to see him out crying the way he was," she said.

LaFata said Pryor was escorted from the graduation by police because he became so upset after being denied entry. He received his diploma the next day.