A Mississippi school official filed charges against four Black attendees who cheered for loved ones during a graduation. Superintendent Jay Foster said no applause for the students of Senatoboia High School until the end, and had them kicked out for disobeying.
Rather than stopping there, Foster filed charges against the students’ family members for disturbing the peace.
“My 18-year-old daughter, Lanarcia Walker, graduated from Senatobia High,” Linda Walker said.
The pomp and circumstance did not last long for some Mississippi families.
“He said ‘you did it baby’, waived his towel and went out the door,” Walker explained.
“When she went across the stage I just called her name out. ‘Lakaydra’. Just like that,” Ursula Miller said she shouted about her niece.
Miller and Henry Walker were two of the four people asked to leave Senatobia High School’s graduation ceremony for cheering.
Police at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where the high school ceremony was held, said the superintendent asked the crowd not to scream and to hold their applause until the end.
Otherwise, they would be asked to leave.
However, that wasn’t the end of it.
“A week or two later, I was served with some papers,” Miller explained.
The papers threatened to throw them in jail.
The arrest warrant could result in a $500 bond for each. “It’s crazy,” said Henry Walker. “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.”
Added Linda Walker, “Why assign papers on someone? We don’t have money for anything like that?”
The four charged are due in court Tuesday, June 9.
UPDATE: The school’s principal said that race had nothing to do with the decision, noting a few white relatives who were given the same treatment.