Wanted! For Cheering at Graduation

By Heather Callaghan

Remember, there’s no room for humor or humanity in a totalitarian system

It’s kind of a cliche – families are often told at graduation ceremonies to hold applause and cheers until the end – and it never happens… They usually don’t get arrested, though.

The new system – the new world, if you will – encourages people who assume authority to call others who assume authority and go all authoritarian on people’s hineys.

This is what happened recently during a high school graduation in Senatobia, Mississippi. Senatobia Municipal School District Superintendent Jay Foster filed “disturbing the peace” charges against four people who shouted dastardly things like “you did it, baby!” after he explicitly told the audience not to. No pomping allowed.

One of the proud cheerers said he couldn’t believe he was fined and issued a warrant for expressing his love. Love? What is that – arrest that man! He’s not fully podded yet…

The Superintendent fully stands behind the warrant because he’s “determined to have order” at these ceremonies and will not tolerate negative attention…

The families say they wanted to express support and it’s understandable that they might be asked to leave – but appearing in court? Arrest warrants? And a $500 bond that they cannot afford?

“[Ursula] Miller and Henry Walker were two of the four people asked to leave Senatobia High School’s graduation ceremony for cheering,” reports WREG News. But having to leave the ceremony wasn’t the end of their fun. A week or so later they were served papers that threatened to throw them into jail. They actually have to appear in court on June 9th.

Miller said if they are allowed to put people in jail for this – what else are they allowed to do? That is a good question, Ms. Miller! One wonders whether or not, the Superintendent is now satisfied with the stifling little orderly bubble he has created…

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

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21 Comments on "Wanted! For Cheering at Graduation"

  1. What an ass. He should have harassment charges filed against him.

  2. Contact page for school district w/ phone, fax, and email form on the page


  3. This can’t sand up in court. There has to be a specific law that was broken, not just an assumption or a “blanket law” applied to one certain event. I’d be happy as hell to be the recipient of one of these notices, because I’d be slapping a nice, FAT lawsuit against this asshole and the administration for harassment and anything else that would possibly apply.

    • Ahh, but this is exactly how we are all being turned into criminals–by relabeling clearly constitutional activities (free speech) as crimes such as disturbing the peace. Our own local attempt to read a redress of grievance just before court started resulted in conviction on charges of interfering with court and disorderly conduct. Convicted by a jury because we were prohibited from telling the jury the whole truth.
      Dennis Patterson–Deer Park, WA

  4. As long as we, the people, do nothing, this will continue.

  5. Even though I am opposed to the jail term, I am solidly behind this superintendant’s determination to compel civil behavior at the graduation ceremony. This appalling trend of behaving as if the ceremony is a sporting event needs to be stopped. Would you accept that behavior at a wedding where the ceremony is traditional and solemn? What about at a funeral? No of course not. Graduation is a ceremony to mark the end of schooling and the COMMENCEMENT of adult life. It is a happy but serious time. It is part of the school’s work product and the school should have the only say in how it is conducted. This school said yelling etc would not be tolerated. I agree with that, because when I graduated from an arduous 5 year program in engineering I wanted to hear my name called but couldn’t because of all the caterwalling of low class people whose loud voices took over the entire proceeding. That was MY graduation too, but I didn’t get to enjoy it because of a handful of ignorant fools too self absorbed to shut the hell up. I support the superintendent.

    • I agree. And Activist Post needs to stop crying wolf at every click-bait temptation. In the truest sense of the term, this superintendent is an activist, taking the lone burden of speaking truth to power by unpopular, ‘overwrought’ means. He seeks to stop loud, self-obsessed disruptions at his district’s graduation ceremonies. Pretty brave, actually.

    • You make complete sense!

    • I would say that if enough in the audience felt that the behavior was disruptive then they would have made that clear. The ceremony is supposed to be for the students and their supporters–not the good order imagined by the school personnel. The slippery slope of arrest is offensive at best and criminalization of a right at the other end of the spectrum

    • I agree. When our two kids graduated it looked NOTHING like the civil and respect full ceremony that I remember mine being, and mine was the largest in the area with nearly 600 grads. But, it was back in 78, when adults knew how to act.
      These extreme measures only happen because of adults who can’t follow directions and act disrespectful and rude. I’d say more, but it would be very politically incorrect.

  6. Next year this is what the graduating class should do:
    Rent a public ball field. No one show up for the official graduation ceremony. Let the ahole superintendent sit there in quiet all by himself. Hold your own graduation ceremony at the ball field (bring your own chair event) and whoop it up as loud as you want.

  7. Some of the most idiotic and uneducated people I have met have Ph.Ds in education administration. Yet they live in huge homes but can’t have an intelligent conversation with their neighbors. Administration IS THE PROBLEM in education. Administration is the source of corruption and the skyrocketing costs of college.

  8. In public meetings, city council, etc. here in Sonoma County applause is discouraged.
    Unless of course they’re slapping each other on the back for one of their award ceremonies or something – that’s different.
    They want us to do this waving fingers in the air thing – which started at out local orchestrated / co-opted ‘Occupy’ charades.
    I think public officials are told to discourage it.
    Might get people fired up, they might start to come together or something.
    They only want herd mentality when the establishment is our shepherd.

    More ‘obey’ indoctrination.

    I say applaud if you’re feeling it.

    • Graduation ceremonies are not the time or place to”get people all fired up to come together on something”. Protocol is protocol… A graduation ceremony is not a pep rally. Some people don’t know the difference.

      • I wasn’t there.
        You might be right
        I stand by my contention that applause is being discouraged at public meetings.
        I don’t like being controlled.
        Especially when I’m paying.

  9. Cheeses Christmas this country is a Fracking mess

  10. If every graduate had a standing ovation/celebration as their name was called, the event could last many hours more than it was scheduled for, costing more, maybe displacing other graduations or events, and generally disrupting the whole occasion. Then there would be the competition for who could yell the loudest or most, and who knows what other shenanigans. It could take forever. People have to work the event, in case you didn’t know, and they are paid, and scheduled. Who’s going to cover all these extra costs and conditions?

  11. I’m sure the fact that they were black had nothing to do with it.

  12. The purpose of the rigid over paid administrators is to control the lower classes. He is doing what he is paid to do by the owning class. The worker class is expected to behave as they are told to behave.

  13. On Wednesday me and my extended family attended a graduation ceremony for our son who was graduating from Grossmont Jr. College with both and AS certificate and an AA certificate. He along with 3,000 other grads did the grad walk, name recognition, picture taking. It was a long but fun ceremony, with lots of yelling, cheering, love ya’s and other congratulatory comments. I did not hear one person complain, saw lots helping so people could get close to take pictures , people moving during the entire ceremony and the nicest thing about it was everyone made sure to stop cheering when a new grad was going to be announced so that you could hear the names. The ceremony is to be fun, light hearted and full of pride for the families and the grads. One grad even brought her service dog dressed in cap and gown and had the dog pose with her for her picture. That is what a grad ceremony is supposed to be, not some extremely somber funeral like setting. This school district in Mississippi needs to get in the 21st century, and the superintendent needs to be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    White dude with power has four black people arrested and fined for cheering and showing pride in their children. I’m sure glad I don’t live in Mississippi along with the other uptight a-holes who want complete control over a grad ceremony.

  14. Ever tried dealing with a school board? Doesn’t matter how many folks are there to comment on what ever issue…seems the folks in positions of supposed ‘power’ let their jobs go to their head instead of serving the public and being responsible to it, they do what ever they want.

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