Chaos erupted in a Tennessee church on Tuesday as parents began brawling while students filed into their high school graduation.
As "Pomp and Circumstance" played at the Arlington High School ceremony at the Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, outside of Memphis, parents sitting in the audience hit and screamed at one another to the shock of fellow attendees.
Church security eventually intervened, with footage showing at least two of the women detained.
Church officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Earl Farrell, public information officer for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office, told BuzzFeed News that neither his agency nor Memphis police were involved.
"Keep in mind, this is private property, so if no one presses charges, that's the end of it," he said.
A person who claimed to have witnessed the fight, but who wished to remain anonymous, told BuzzFeed News the scuffle broke out over an attempt to save a seat.
"They got to fighting over a seat that the woman was saving for somebody else," the witness said. "It was funny for me, but if that was my family I'd be pissed."
Arlington Community Schools Chief of Staff Jeffery Mayo told BuzzFeed News 500 students were at the ceremony.
"It was unfortunate that a couple of adults in the audience exhibited the behavior they did prior to the ceremony beginning and thus has caused a distraction from the celebration of our students’ accomplishments," he said.
"The graduation ceremony was not affected by this incident due to the actions of Bellevue’s security team who promptly removed the adults from the ceremony," Mayo added. "It is our hope that the focus will shift to our students and their accomplishments instead of the poor decisions by adults in attendance."
David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.
Contact David Mack at email@example.com.
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