Relatives Face Arrest for Graduation Cheers

They violated 'peace and dignity' at Miss. ceremony
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2015 5:05 AM CDT
Relatives Face Arrest for Graduation Cheers
Cheering too soon can get you arrested in Senatobia, Miss.   (Shutterstock)

Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster is apparently not a man who will tolerate being disobeyed—by anybody. Relatives attending a high school graduation ceremony in Senatobia, Miss., last month were ordered not to cheer until the end, and when four people cheered early, Foster didn't just kick them out of the ceremony, he contacted police and had warrants issued for their arrest, CNN reports. The charge: disturbing the peace. "When she went across the stage I just called her name out. 'Lakaydra.' Just like that," Ursula Miller, who could face a $500 fine for cheering for her niece, tells WREG. According to the New York Times, the defendants could also face six-month prison terms.

Foster says he has spent the last four years trying to make graduation a respectful ceremony and he doesn't think the punishment is excessive. "My point is not to have somebody have to pay money, but I want them to know there are consequences for their behavior, and I want us to have a dignified service," he tells the Clarion-Ledger. To have charges filed, he filled out an affidavit with the help of a police chief, stating that the "loud, boisterous noise" at the ceremony was "against the peace and dignity of the State of Mississippi," the Times reports. The relatives are due in court next week. (In 2012, a South Carolina mom was arrested and fined $225 for cheering at her daughter's graduation ceremony.)

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