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Note To Parents: Cheering During Your Child’s Graduation Will Get You Arrested

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graduation cheeringLast I checked, high-school graduation is cause for celebration. And it’s lovely to see students surrounded by excited family members on their big day. Unless, of course, your family member is being arrested for cheering too loudly. That’s precisely what happened to Shannon Cooper, a proud South Carolina mom who was arrested during her daughter’s high-school graduation last week.

Apparently, people had been warned to behave during the ceremony, which includes not cheering ’til the very end, once everyone’s name has been called. It’s standard policy – at most schools, anyway – because it would be nearly impossible to hear the next name being called out amid the cheers. Also, when you have hundreds of students graduating at once, the ceremony would take an entire day if staff were forced to pause for more than a few seconds after each and every name. (And, let’s face it, most high-school graduation ceremonies are painfully long as is.)

So it’s understandable that these rules are in place, and it’s understandable that Cooper would be escorted out for breaking them. But she actually got arrested – cuffs and all! “I am still living in shock,” Cooper told msnbc.com. “It all seems like a bad dream, a nightmare of what was to be one of the happiest days of our lives. I cheered for my baby and I got the cuffs.”

Fortunately, Cooper’s 18-year-old daughter, Christin Iesha Cooper, wasn’t aware of her mom’s arrest until after the ceremony. Still, Cooper remains in shock that she was arrested and then walked across the venue in full view of everyone (she was charged with disorderly conduct and booked in a detention center until posting a $225 bond). “The police officer pointed his finger at me and said ‘Stop right here. The lady right there in white, she’s going to jail’,” Cooper said. “The whole time I was thinking in my mind ‘Are you all serious? You for real?’ I didn’t say anything. I was shocked.”

Look, there are two sides to every story, and I’m sure there’s more to this particular story than what’s being reported. Based on what I’ve been reading, however, it’s pretty shocking that Cooper was arrested. I’m hoping that she was at least asked to leave first (one can only hope and if that’s the case, well, then it’s a whole other story).

Meanwhile, another high-school student in Cincinnati had his diploma withheld “due to the excessive cheering your guests displayed during the roll call,” his principal explained in a letter. Apparently Anthony Cornist, who plays on the school’s winning football team, is a popular student with lots of fans. According to his mom Traci, “Teachers, other students and other family members who weren’t with us were also cheering for him also. He’s well known.”

“I did nothing wrong except walk across the stage,” Anthony said. No matter. The school is demanding 20 hours of community service before he can graduate (the hours can be split between Anthony and his family, or he can perform them all on his own). “I don’t understand how he’s being punished for something he has no control over,” Traci said. “I just thought that was ludicrous… I have no clue where the logic comes in.” Can’t say I disagree…

(Photo: hxdbzxy/Shutterstock )