Cheers to tears: Graduation supporters slapped with arrest warrants

Senatobia High School, Mississippi (Image from misspreservation.com)
Relatives of several black students were arrested and may have to post a $500 bond for creating a ‘public disturbance’ by cheering at a High School graduation ceremony in Mississippi.

Senatobia High School Superintendent Jay Foster asked the audience to save applause for the end the ceremony, according to CBS affiliate WREG. He also informed them that those who didn’t comply would be escorted off the premises.

Four attendees cheered for their loved ones and were promptly removed from the ceremony. One week later, they were served with warrants for their arrest and may have to post a $500 bond to stay out of jail.

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One of those asked to leave was Henry Walker, who waved a towel and yelled “You did it baby” as his daughter walked across the stage.

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

“It’s crazy,” 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.”

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

“Why assign papers on someone? We don’t have money for anything like that,” Walker’s wife Linda said.

Superintendent Foster, however, said that the charges were far from ridiculous, telling WREG that he’s determined to have order at graduation ceremonies.

It’s not strange for these families to be cheering for their relatives, considering that High School graduation is a significant accomplishment for black students in Mississippi. Only 51% of black males in Mississippi have graduated from high school, according to ThinkProgress.

The families told WREG that they should not have to go to court just for supporting their loved ones.

The four people charged are scheduled to appear in court on Monday, June 9.