Mom Arrested for Cheering at Kid's Graduation

Since when did standing up and whistling for your kid lead to handcuffs?

This South Carolina mom was arrested for cheering too loudly at her daughter's graduation. (Photo: WPDE News Channel 15)


Jun 6, 2012
Kelly Zhou has written on a variety of topics for TakePart, predominantly politics, education, and wildlife.

On graduation day, proud parents sit in the crowded stands and await the moment when their son or daughter's name is called out. They may cheer, clap or shout their kid's name. At many schools, this kind of behavior is not given a second thought, but at a select few, "excessive cheering" can get you locked up or slapped with community service.

One mom knows this all too well. Recently, Shannon Cooper was arrested for disorderly conduct after she cheered too loudly (video) at her daughter Iesha’s graduation, according to an article from WPDE NewsChannel 15. Iesha was graduating from South Florence High School in South Carolina.

“Humiliation. I don’t even think humiliation could describe how I felt,” Shannon Cooper said in an interview after she was handcuffed and walked across stage.

According to police, it was announced prior to the ceremony that anyone who cheered or screamed would be escorted out of the building.

"I can’t applaud and let her know, 'I’m so proud of you?'" Cooper said. "How can I not cheer for my child?"

Why the stringent rules? Well at one Ohio school, administrators cited fairness to the other families attending graduation. At Mt. Healthy's high school graduation ceremony, senior Anthony Cornist was denied his diploma because of excessive cheering from family and friends. (video)

"In years past, we have had students whose families got over-exuberant and the child behind them's name could not be heard when they were called," said Lori Handler, Mt. Healthy City Schools superintendent, in a article. "So I feel very strongly that we will stop graduation because every child's name will be heard and every family will be able to celebrate appropriately."

A popular tackler for his school’s football team, Cornist received a letter from the principal stating that his diploma would be withheld until he completed 20 hours of community service as punishment for the noise at graduation. Legally, he has graduated and will still receive his diploma, Handler said.

Do you think cheering excessively for your kid is a punishable crime? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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