Warrants issued for people who cheered at high school graduation

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SENATOBIA, Miss. -- Several people who cheered for family members at a recent high school graduation ceremony are now facing charges for "disturbing the peace."

Police at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where Senatobia High School's graduation ceremony was held, said the superintendent asked the crowd not to scream and to hold their applause until the end. Linda Walker, Ursula Miller and two other people were asked to leave the ceremony because they were screaming and cheering.

“When she went across the stage I just called her name out. ‘Lakaydra’. Just like that,” Ursula Miller told WREG.

Miller said she was then asked to leave the graduation. A few weeks later, she was served papers.

Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster filed "disturbing the peace" charges against the four people who were asked to leave graduation. Officers issued warrants for their arrests with a possible $500 bond.

“It’s crazy,” Henry Walker said. “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.”

Superintendent Foster declined an on-camera interview but told WREG he’s determined to have order at graduation ceremonies.

“I can understand they can escort me out of the graduation, but to say they are going to put me in jail for it," Miller said. "What else are they allowed to do?”

The four people facing charges are expected in court Monday, June 8.

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  • Suzy

    This is out of control. Why the heck make the rule that there is no cheering? Its a joyous occasion. On the other hand, if the rule is there is no cheering, even if you don’t agree with, you need to follow the rules. If you blatantly disregard them then you only have yourself to blame. I guess I see both sides.

    • Woops

      It wasn’t “no cheering,” it was “no screaming” and a hold your applause till the end sort of thing. I can understand both of those. When you have a couple or few hundred kids graduating, you want to get through them in a timely manner. If you have to wait for applause to die down in between every single kid, it’s going to take even longer. Apparently these people didn’t care and thought that their student was worth the yelling and individual applause while other students were not. As a parent, I’ve seen these types at all sorts of school functions. They’re often the ones you wish would sit down and be quiet.

  • dg54321

    I can see kicking them out if they were a problem, but there is no basis for a charge of “disturbing the peace”. It was a freaking ceremony for God’s sakes.

  • Magnus

    While I understand being asked to leave for being too boisterous and not following the rules. Slapping these people with a disturbing the peace fine is stepping over a line of decency. I hope the judge throws it out.

  • jennieleah

    Show me the law that was broken! People should have the grace and education to mind the rules, but I don’t think any laws were broken. Rules are not laws and Principals are not Dictators. But I have been to graduations where the cheering got so bad, one could not hear the Graduates; names being called. That was ridiculous and uncalled for. Just followo the es people. Be kind and do what is asked.

  • Watcher

    Yes the rule was heavy handed. But, they were told what was expected of them, and they chose to ignore it. When you break the rules, how can you get mad when you are called on it?

  • Kris

    Exactly what law was broken. I was unaware that a superintendent was now the law of the land. What in the F is the world coming to?

  • Teresa Hardie

    That is so stupid. Everyone should be able to call their name out it’s their last time to walk the stage in high school

  • Jeffrey Beaudin Sr.

    It’s simple, save your cheering until the ceremony is done. My high school graduation had the same thing back in ’81, and the announcer made the same request a few times. Each time was a little more stringent than the the last. If that can’t be understood, maybe you shouldn’t have graduated high school yourself.