EXCLUSIVE: Students turned away from SAT after photo flap

Some D.C. and Maryland teenagers say they were locked out and unable to start taking the SAT because of disputes over photo IDs. Now, the students are worried their futures are on the line.

Kiersten Pels showed up to take the test June 6 at Wilson High School in D.C. 

"We're reading through directions. I have a test book in front of me. I have all my pencils. Everything's set up. I hear this knock at the door. And this security guard comes in and says 'Kiersten Pels needs to leave immediately,'" she said. 

There was an issue with Pels' photo and the photos of at least a dozen other kids. The families affected have identified Maureen Thompson as the woman in charge at the SAT location. 

"I was waiting in the office and all of the sudden she starts yelling. And she's like, 'Everyone needs to get out of this office right now. Otherwise, I will call the police. You are trespassing. Everyone needs to leave right now. Like, you are not allowed to stay here,'" said Pels.

"How are you feeling at this point?" FOX 5's Beth Parker asked.

"Oh, I'm about to have a panic attack. This is my worst nightmare. It's like one of my stress dreams I would have about an SAT," she said.

Thompson did not respond to FOX 5's request for a comment. 

"It looked almost like a riot. I walked in and there were so many angry people. And I think they were righteously angry," said father Jon Pels.

Thompson's complaint was that Kiersten Pels' right ear wasn't visible on her admission ticket photo, but she had already taken the SAT back in May at a different location and used the same photo.  

Back at Wilson High School, police were called. The test was already in progress.

"My daughter pulls out her driver's license, pulls out the ticket. The police officer says, 'This is her. This is clearly her. What's the problem?' So I told my daughter, 'Go, get in.' And I grabbed all these other kids that were being turned away and I said, 'Get in line with the police officer,'" said Jon Pels.

Some teenagers did get in, but others had already left. Kiersten Pels started her test two hours late. She said she worked for four hours straight.

"How can I write an essay right now? I'm literally just so full of anxiety," she recalled.

Kiersten Pels is still hoping to get into her first choice of colleges, Villanova University, where her father went to school.

FOX 5 reached out to the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT. A spokesman said the students' IDs were questionable and there was only a "short delay."

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