A Black Mississippi family was kicked out of a high school graduation ceremony and charged with disturbing the peace after they cheered for a graduating senior.
Superintendent Jay Foster asked audience members to hold their cheers and applause until all the graduates’ names were called, but one family said they were unable to contain their excitement, reported WREG-TV.
Ursula Miller said she called out the first name of her niece, Lanarcia Walker, as she crossed the stage to receive her diploma from Senatobia High School.
The teen’s father, Henry Walker, shouted, “You did it, baby,” and waved a towel, drawing laughs from the crowd.
That’s when school officials asked the girl’s parents and two other relatives to leave the ceremony.
About a week later, they were served with court papers after the superintendent filed disturbing the peace charges against them.
“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.”
But the superintendent defended his decision, saying he was determined to maintain order during graduation ceremonies.
The Walkers and their relatives are due in court Monday, and they said they may not be able to afford the fines — which could put them at risk of jail time.
“I can understand they can escort me out of the graduation, but to say they going to put me in jail for it,” Miller said. “What else are they allowed to do?”