Cheering at Graduation Leads to Arrest, Diplomas Being Withheld
(NEW YORK) — Cheering on family and friends at graduation ceremonies has become a risky proposition at schools around the country. Administrations have cracked down on celebrations; withholding diplomas from students and arresting parents who “misbehave” during commencement.
In Florence, S.C., mother Sharon Cooper was handcuffed and escorted out of the arena where daughter Iesha Cooper, 18, was graduating from high school last Saturday. The school had reportedly warned parents earlier that anyone who cheered or yelled during the roll call would be escorted from the building, and that people who were disorderly would be arrested.
“‘Are you all serious? Are you all for real?’ I mean, that’s what I’m thinking in my mind,” Cooper told WPDE, an ABC News affiliate.”I didn’t say anything. I was just like OK, I can’t fight the law.”
Cooper was placed in a police van and taken to a detention center for several hours before posting a $225 bond, according to the station. Cooper, who was charged with disorderly conduct, could not be reached for comment.
In Mount Healthy, Ohio, graduating senior Anthony Cornist was docked a diploma because his family and friends cheered too loudly as he walked across the stage during the graduation ceremony.
“It’s crazy how someone can do that to you,” said Cornist. “I didn’t do nothing wrong, but walk across the stage.”
Administrators from Mount Healthy high school and the school district did not return calls for comment.
In Tennessee, diplomas were withheld from at least 10 members of a graduating high school class not for cheering loudly, but for sitting quietly, albeit with loudly-decorated graduation caps. Administrators from McMinn County High School warned students that caps were not to be decorated, and students would be punished if the broke the rule.
“We’re going to decorate our caps anyway because we paid for them,” senior Brianna Carroll told news station WRCB in reaction to her high school’s ban on cap decorations.
Some students were punished with 20 hours of community service in order to receive their diplomas. John Burroughs, principal of the school, told ABC News that the ban came from the superintendent. David Pierce, the district superintendent, did not return calls for comment.
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