Four people are facing charges and the possibility of fines and jail time for disobeying the rules about when to cheer at a Mississippi high school graduation last month.
WREG-TV reported that the four were ejected from Senatobia High School's graduation ceremony May 21. Police at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where the ceremony was being held, said Senatobia Schools Superintendent Jay Foster asked those in attendance to hold their applause until the end and not to scream out during the ceremony.
"We were instructed to remove anyone that cheered during the ceremony, which was done,” campus police Chief Zabe Davis told the New York Times Wednesday. "And then [Foster] came and pressed charges against those people."
One of those who was ejected and charged was Henry Walker, whose daughter Lanarcia was among the graduates.
"He said 'you did it baby', waived his towel and went out the door," Walker's wife Linda told WREG.
Ursula Miller's niece, Lakaydrian Jackson, was also graduating.
"When she went across the stage I just called her name out. 'Lakaydrian'. Just like that," Miller said.
Three of the four have been issued arrest warrants on a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace. Bond for each has been set at $500.
Foster stood by his decision to press the charges in an interview with WHBQ Wednesday.
"We read through the graduation program, the warning is undeniable," he said. "They yelled out and they excessively celebrated during the calling of names. Once they heard their graduate's names called they celebrated that ... When you make a conscious decision to disrupt that for that individual, what is too harsh?"
“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."
A court hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 9.