Arrest Warrants Issued For Cheering Parents At Graduation

June 3, 2015  |  

We have conversations about the mass and overtly aggressive incarceration of Black and Brown people in this country, but this incident here takes the cake.

According to WREG, a CBS affiliate, four people were served with arrest warrants after they cheered at a high school graduation.

Linda Walker said her 18-year-old daughter Lanarcia Walker graduated from Senatobia High and one of her family members, Henry Walker said “You did it baby!” and walked out of the graduation ceremony.

Another family member, Ursula Miller, says when her niece walked across the stage, she called out her name as well.

Both Miller and Walker were asked to leave the ceremony for cheering.

But that didn’t take issue with being asked to leave. They do have a problem, however, with being served papers for their cheering.

Police at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where the ceremony was held, said Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster, asked attendees to hold their applause until the end.

And since he is, as he puts it, “determined to have order at graduation ceremonies,” he issued warrants, citing ‘disturbing the peace’ charges against the people who called out. Officers issued warrants with a possible $500 bond.

Henry Walker, told WREG what he thinks about the charges.

“It’s crazy. The fact that I might have to bond of out jail, pay court costs, or a $500 fine for expressing my love, it’s ridiculous man. It’s ridiculous.”

Miller, the woman who cheered for her niece 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?”

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

In addition to this superintendent’s pettiness, what a gross waste of time and resources for the city of Senatobia. An arrest warrant for cheering? I know there has to be more to do there than harass people like this. A judge with any type of sense at all will throw this case out.

This story irritates the hell out of me. Graduation is a time for celebration. And I don’t know too many celebrations that take place quietly. Furthermore, as long as Black people were denied education and are still being access to proper education in this country, we should be able to make some noise about earning a degree.

But apparently, Superintendent Foster, now that education is required, is attempting to stifle and suppress Black people in another way.

I understand graduation ceremonies can be long and tedious but is a half-a-second outburst really worth the loss of someone’s freedom? That’s a rhetorical question, but let me help you out with that: Hell no!

These racist, patriarchal feelings White folks are still harboring over Black folks are hard to shake I guess…

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