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 9.

11 comments

  • Observer

    “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.”

    What’s crazy is the inability to follow simple rules.

    • Michael

      This is ridiculous. Disturbing the peace? They yelled out the name of their kids. Every graduation I’ve attended there was cheers because it’s a big deal to graduate. What is this Nazi Germany?

      • JackR

        I don’t know the size of the graduations you’ve attended, but the problem is when EVERYONE cheers for their student. That leads to names not being heard when they’re announced or doubling the time it takes because they constantly have to wait for people in the crowd to become quiet.
        It’s a simple rule that is meant to be fair to all students and most people are capable of following it and being respectful. Do I think the arrest warrants are a bit ridiculous? Yes, but I also think these people not being able to control themselves and thinking the graduation should revolve around their student only are also ridiculous.

      • Observer

        “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.” Simple rules which these people refused to follow, and now they suffer the consequences. Harsh? Perhaps. But sometimes expensive lessons are the ones best learned.

        Michael, your invocation of Godwin’s Law instantly renders your comment moot.

  • cmerric

    People really should be ashamed of having to be escorted out of the ceremony. It is an important day for everyone in attendance. If you are asked to hold your applause, you should be mature enough to follow such a simple rule. While I totally agree that they should have been escorted out, I think follow-up warrants are a bit much.

  • VoiceOfReason

    Never underestimate the vindictiveness of petty bureaucrats. Superintendent Jay Foster has to build his self-esteem by abusing his power. He’s probably impotent, too.

    • Observer

      VoiceOfReason – now there’s a misnamed moniker. All you have to offer is insults and ad hominems.

  • Mel Patri

    This is a trip. I graduated 15 years ago to this day and they did the same thing at my graduation. My brother graduated from another highschool in my home state a couple years before me and they encouraged the cheers. It was happy times, fun, cheerful, just a good atmosphere when you can express your feelings in that setting. The difference in the 2 schools is that the one I graduated from was very strict and going there was a pain. People wanted to gwt away from the school, and there were so many dropouts because of the ora the school gave off. The schools from the area I was from were fun, kids loved school, and looking forward to graduation to get to the next level was the goal.

  • Rob

    Simply shut up, follow directions and applaud as asked. You were not “expressing love”, you were disturbing others who want to hear their loved ones names. So you DESERVE the fine, and even more in my opinion. Teach others to follow directions instead of screaming and yelling!!

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