go to content

Four People Charged For Cheering At Mississippi High School Graduation

Police have charged four residents of Senatobia, Mississippi, after they reportedly cheered loudly for family members graduating during a high school ceremony.

Posted on

Four people in Senatobia, Mississippi, are facing fines and potential jail time after they reportedly cheered loudly at a high school graduation last month.

At the May 21 graduation ceremony, Ursula Miller called out the name of her niece, Lakaydra, she told WREG-TV.

Henry Walker was also at the ceremony, the station reported, and called out to his sister, saying "You did it baby!"

In response to the cheering, authorities at the graduation asked both Miller and Walker to leave. Weeks later, they received documents informing them that they had been charged with disturbing the peace.

A total of four people were removed from the ceremony, CNN reported.

An affidavit for Miller obtained by The New York Times states she was "yelling and clapping while inside the building after announcement had been made for all to hold their applause and celebrating until after the end of the ceremony."

The affidavit also states her cheering was "against the peace and dignity of the State of Mississippi."

The charges carry a maximum potential fine of $500, and six months in jail.

Campus Police Chief Zabe Davis told The Times that superintendent Jay Foster pressed charges against the people who were removed from the ceremony.

Foster defended the decision to press charges in an interview with CNN, saying he had repeatedly told attendees not to applaud until the end.

"We want everyone to see their own loved ones graduate and hear their names called," Foster said. "When people disrupt that, it takes away from the students and their families."

Still, Miller and Walker are frustrated by the charges.

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

Walker expressed a similar sentiment, telling the TV station that "it's crazy."

"The fact that I might have to bond out of jail, pay court costs, a $500 fine for expressing my love," he said. "It's ridiculous."

Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Jim Dalrymple II at jim.dalrymple@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.