Save the Cheers for the Cookout: Graduation Gets Families in Big Trouble

Save the Cheers for the Cookout: Graduation Gets Families in Big Trouble

Several families have suffered consequences, even jail time, for cheering during graduation ceremonies.

Published June 7, 2012

South Carolina mom Shannon Cooper was arrested during her daughter's high school graduation for cheering too loudly.

It’s the day you’ve all waited for. You and your family have gathered to celebrate the accomplishment of your graduate and just before his or her name is called, you sit on the edge of your seat, poised to scream, shout and holler to let everyone know just how proud you are.

Although this little scene has surely played out countless times across the country, the next time you plan on shouting out at your loved one’s graduation, think twice. You could risk embarrassing your graduate, or worse — you could even be arrested.

Last weekend, in South Carolina, super-zealous mom Shannon Cooper found out just how serious some schools take graduation ceremonies when she was arrested during her daughter Iesha's high school graduation for cheering too loudly.

"I am still living in shock," Cooper told "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."

Although it seems strange, the arresting officers say graduation or not, the boisterous yelling and shouting Cooper displayed amounted to disorderly conduct.

Cooper was taken to the Florence County Detention Center where she was booked and held for several hours before posting a $225 bond.

And while punishing a parent during graduation can be an embarrassing and costly affair, withholding a student’s diploma for the conduct of family members can be even more irritating.

In Cincinnati last month, high school graduate Anthony Cornist and three others had their diplomas withheld after school officials say raucous family cheering disrupted the ceremony. As punishment for their family’s actions, the school slapped Cornist and the three other students with 20 hours of community service as a requirement before they can receive the already hard-earned diplomas.

The school says parents and students should have been aware of the school’s strict policy because of a notice that was given to students and signed by parents.

However, despite the forewarning, Cornist’s mother, Traci, had no remorse over her and her family’s behavior on her son’s big day.

"We showed so much support...That maybe we are about to be escorted out the building...Who cares my baby just graduated!" she posted to Facebook, reports. 

Cornist has still graduated, of course. The school says that the community service is just a formality, in order to ensure more demure ceremonies in the future.

"Legally, he has graduated and he will receive his diploma," Mt. Healthy City schools superintendent Lori Handler said. "That's not an issue at all... This is just a rule, an expectation that we set and we expect the parents to follow through on it."

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(Photo: Courtesy WPDE-TV)

Written by Naeesa Aziz


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