UPDATE: June 10 -- On Monday, superintendent Jay Foster withdrew all charges against those who cheered at the graduation, the New York Times reports. Foster wrote in a court filing that, "Our purpose in filing the complaints was not to place a hardship of any kind on the individual who disrupted the ceremony, but to protect the rights of the class of 2015 and future S.H.S. graduating classes."
Original story begins below.
Multiple people have been served with arrest warrants for cheering at the Senatobia High School graduation in Senatobia, Mississippi.
Ursula Miller, who attended the May 21 event to watch her niece graduate, told local station WREG, “When [my niece] went across the stage I just called her name out. ‘Lakaydra.’ Just like that.”
Linda Walker told the station when her daughter crossed the stage, their relative Henry Walker shouted “You did it baby!” and waved a towel.
Miller, Henry Walker and two others -- whose names have not been released -- were not only asked to leave the graduation ceremony, but days later were served with arrest warrants for “disturbing the peace.” The charge carries a possible $500 fine or 6 months in jail.
“We were instructed to remove anyone that cheered during the ceremony, which was done,” Zabe Davis, chief of campus police, told The New York Times. “And then Jay Foster, the superintendent, came and pressed charges against those people.”
Foster stands behind his decision. He told the Clarion Ledger the audience was informed that they were not supposed to make any noise while names were still being called. "We didn't tell them they couldn't cheer, we just asked them to wait until the end so everyone has an opportunity to hear their graduate's name," he said.
Foster told the Ledger that he pressed charges because he did not feel that simply removing people from the ceremony made a strong enough point. “I want them to know there are consequences for their behavior, and I want us to have a dignified service," said Foster.
All four people charged are expected in court on June 9.
“It’s crazy,” Henry Walker told WREG. “The fact that I might have to bond out of jail, pay court costs, or a $500 fine for expressing my love, it’s ridiculous, man. It’s ridiculous.”
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