Four relatives who cheered their children at a high school graduation in Senatobia, Mississippi, have been served with arrest warrants for disturbing the peace.
To no one’s surprise, I’m sure, at least the two of the four facing charges who have been identified in news reports are African American. The complainant, Senatobia school superintendent Jay Foster is white. Mr Foster is a stickler:
Superintendent Foster said the charges were far from ridiculous.
While Foster declined an on-camera interview with WREG, he said he’s determined to have order at graduation ceremonies.
“We must have order.”
Makes one proud to be an American.
Image: Sassetta, The Blessed Ranieri frees the poor, 1437-44
Ordnung muss sein. Yes it sounds better in the original german.
Whatever you do, don’t read the Facebook comments.
“Whatever you say, people, we have laws here. And we’re sticklers.”
I just like knowing there’s a place named Senatobia. It’s kind of a pretty name.
Hope they get their sh*t together. Congratulations, graduates.
Refused to be interviewed on camera. A gutless puke as well as a racist and fascist.
Mike in NC
Jay is a dick.
A week or more later?! Not only did this asshole have them thrown out, he had the cops bust them a week or more later?! And the cops did it??!! Something here is distinctly penetrated in a vertical direction.
Italian football managers are freeing the poor now? Will wonders never cease!
@tbone: Made by people who have probably cheered their children.
I will have order!
Now now. I’m sure the principal would’ve done the same thing if the four had been white, and I’m solemnly swearing to that with my right hand on the sacred battle flag of the Confederacy!
@Mike in NC:
Good luck finding his without an electron microscope.
If anybody sets up a gofundme site for the inevitable defense and counter-suit, count me in.
Maybe a GoFundMe account is in order?
I’d say see you in court except that this is Mississippi, they might get convicted…
On the one hand, solemn occasion should be solemn (though filing criminal charges is definitely over the top, and there were other far less drastic ways of handling the situation). OTOH, methinks Foster was unhappy that some of Those People did well enough in school to earn diplomas; and this is just his way of showing it without pointing out during the ceremony, in front of everyone, what a self-righteous bigoted pr!ck he is.
Is Senatobia redneck for “wanker”?
I would love to be defense counsel in this trial.
Putting the principal on the stand would be great fun.
What a tool. Too bad the state didn’t embrace the ACA; that principal may need the rebar surgically removed from his ass.
Now THIS is “disturbing the peace” at a graduation. In a completely AWESOME way. Just compare the glee & joy at Kahuku High’s ceremony to the attitude from Foster.
I will have order
@Goblue72: It sounds like a blending of the words “senile” and “utopia”, or maybe the name of a very expensive new pharmaceutical product.
Sorry — HS graduation is not a solemn occasion. It’s a serious one. But not solemn. Or damn well shouldn’t be.
@cckids: thanks, cheery video. Anything to make graduation ceremonies tolerable.
Except the caption says that this Hawaiian cultural dysfunction of having fun has been going on for 20 years and nothing has been done about it. And it started in 1995, so can’t even blame them damn hippies.
Somewhere along the way we moved enforcement of social propriety from “don’t be a dick” to “arrest all the dicks.” Police are for policing crime not policing propriety.
My oldest son’s high school graduation was somewhat marred by a few narcissistic speeches and too much crying. Now I’m wondering if the police shouldn’t have been called in to restore some solemnity to the occasion.
“Disturbing the peace”? How long is your typical graduation cheer? Two seconds?
And are we to believe only one student in this whole class got a cheer?
The more miserable you can make the public school experience, the more likely the citizens are to vote for vouchers or private schools.
This kind of behavior on behalf of the superintendent, and the school board that hired him and approved this action, is no accident.
@jl: I know, it’s kind of amazing. I love that the kids sing themselves instead of lip-synching; they adapt the songs to fit the graduation theme, and everyone seems to be participating & having a good time. Just looks like a blast.
@cckids: Now that’s the way to graduate.
It’s absurd that they actually filed charges against people for cheering. But I don’t see anything wrong with asking the audience to hold the cheering and applause until the end of the ceremony and kicking those who don’t comply out. I’ve been to ceremonies where people ignored that request and drowned out other people’s announcements with sustained noise. That’s rude as hell.
Since 1980, I have been to a dozen or more graduation ceremonies in my time as a student, sibling, faculty, and parent. (Even in the band for the three high school ceremonies before me playing the old P&C) It’s a time honored tradition for every officiant (principal, dean, superintendent, or whatever) to request that people please hold their applause to the end and no shouting. It’s also a time honored tradition for that request to be ignored. ALWAYS.* I can’t imagine what kind of insecure, fascist, control freak (respect man authoritah!) would press charges like this.
*But then maybe it’s because I have always been involved with public schools and state colleges. Is sitting quietly on your hands for an hour’s worth of reading names more traditional at snooty private schools? I can’t imagine it is.
at my school they threatened holy hell if you made a distrubance because watching 900 people take individual 10 meter walks takes all freaking day. charges are a bit silly and i bet they are dropped but i bet they were made to warn next years parents.
@Loneoak: No, police are for shooting people who are the wrong color.
The acoustics at the graduations I’ve been to have been so uniformly awful that I could never hear what was going on or who was cheering for whom. I am already dreading having to attend another one next week. The drama of people behaving badly would almost be a welcome respite from the tedium.
@FridayNext: I’ve been to plenty of graduations (comes w. my job) — and at snooty private colleges as well as the not so snooty one that employs me. Big places (MIT graduates somewhere around 2,000 a year) tend not to have much cheering, if only because the audience is so far away that any yelps get drowned out. Certainly true for my nephew’s recent march around the Columbia dais.
And you know what — any half decent sound system cuts through a family cheer. Some people get a little loud when they get happy. So what. This is just assholery of the highest order on the part of the Super. Just deeply anti-social behavior.
Nearly every person in the world would be led out of every airport in handcuffs if the police arrested everyone that didn’t sit in their seats until the plane has stopped taxiing. Imagine the revenue potential . . .
Thing is, there’s probably video of this. Which I am sure will reveal a profound and utter silence, until interrupted by exactly four riots. yells.
I believe one man shouted “You did it baby!” (This was caught on video if you click through) and another just shouted her daughter’s name.
This was not for prolonged clapping or cheering as far as I can tell, but a ridiculously common, and short, shout of recognition.
Hell, if my old high school principal pressed charges against everyone who shouted at graduation, the jail would have been too crowded for him when he did time for embezzling 3 years after I graduated.
If you are a mid tier white civil servant in Mississippi, your only personal outlet is telling blacks to “respect mah authoritah!” Or, at least, getting the police to do it for you.
And I say this as someone who cannot tolerate people making unasked for displays of noise
@Tom Levenson: If you think about it, all kinds of events manage to proceed normally despite the presence of a noisy audience. Where I come from, it’s perfectly acceptable to tell rude people to STFU. To throw people into the jaws of the criminal justice system for a lack of proper etiquette isn’t an overreaction, it is a statement, and the statement is: Be Afraid.
WTF. At my high school graduation people were doing to the wave. I’ve been to three now. My high school, college, and grad school. Now were remotely quiet events and I don’t think a single person cared.
Funerals are solemn occasions.
Heh, bonus 15th century jet propulsion. Double-win.
@Tommy: I think I’ve been to 5: jr. high(yes, we really had one), high school, undergrad, grad school, and a friend’s law school commencement. My undergrad was probably the least dignified(it was hot and there were about 5K of us, UCLA).
I’m pretty sure I captured that function as “policing crime.”
@FridayNext: I agree it was beyond stupid for the officials to file charges. But if I were filming my kid’s walk across the stage and her name got drowned out by some asshole yelling something to his kid, I’d be pissed. It’s inconsiderate but not a crime, obviously. Now, the assholes who stand up in the auditorium aisles and approach the stage to capture video of their special snowflake — blocking other parents’ views — those fuckers should be thrown into a shark tank.
@Mike in NC:
I know who you mean, dude, but SRSLY….
Foster is most definitely a dick. On wheels.
The World Series is at least as serious and ritualistic as a high school graduation, no?
@Betty Cracker: I agree with Betty. This is not a criminal matter. It is in the same class of offenses like talking/texting in a movie theater. Be kind to your fellow humans, or be asked to leave. But a summons a week later is nuts.
…without charges being filed.
Disturbing the peace? You want to see disturbing the peace at a graduation? This is disturbing the peace at a graduation:
He was the original Time Bandit!
Seriously, though, he embezzled from student funds for years but got caught and convicted three years after I graduated. My apologies for awkward sentence structure.
@efgoldman: the dead parrot sketch has to be one of my favorites. Just pinning for the fiords!
I’ve told my wife that if I go first, she has to arrange for “Ding dong the Witch is dead” to be played during my memorial service.
@Mike Furlan: I know what the two of you mean. I was raised to be overtly over-the-top polite in public. Making noise when another child is walking across stage seems to me to be very rude. But a summons, you got to be kidding me.
@Valdivia: obviously if this phone allowed me to edit I’d correct the spelling of fjords. Since I can’t I’ll just continue drinking a glass of Spanish red.
This is, indeed, made of teh stupid.
That’s how I deal with all of my problems.
I expect to be thrown unceremoniously into the ocean. My only request is that I actually be dead at the time.
Have an extra one for me.
@Betty Cracker: When I was teaching seniors in high school, the very worst end of year duty one could draw was to be part of the arena (a full 6,000 seats) detail helping to “suggest” families stay near their seats and stay quiet enough to allow all other families to to be able to hear their loved-one’s name, etc
And that’s the point isn’t it? Getting a base line of appropriate behavior that is safe and allows all others to participate in the event.
The offense at the above above graduation seems ridiculously minor compared to other behaviors I have seen. The escort out should have been enough since that was the guidance and consequences explained at the beginning of the ceremony.
In death as in life.
Well, but that’s a capital offense! At least in Florida.
Edit: Dammit. Naturally, efgoldman got there first. Naturally.
To be fair, he didn’t stipulate it couldn’t be from an airplane.
@Betty Cracker: Agreed. At my high school, there were always a few families that thought it would be fun to blast air horns when their kids’ names were announced, and it invariably created a big distraction from the graduate who was announced next.
It’s obnoxious and the rule about holding applause/cheering until the end makes a lot of sense. What doesn’t make sense is filing criminal charges against the people who do it anyway.
That would be neat.
@Baud: I wish I could deal with all my problems this way :)
@BillinGlendaleCA: will do. Salud!
Mr WereBear would like a “Viking funeral” on one of the nearby lakes, but there are quite sensible rules against it. Sure, we’d do it right, but the wannabes always spoil a good thing…
@efgoldman: that sounds hilarious, French must give it a special extra.
@efgoldman: I’ve made it clear in my will and to all of my family members just cremate me and dump my ashes in a nice meadow. But a Viking funeral pyre would be cool.
This is ridiculous. These kids have probably had at least four or five graduations before they even get to high school graduation. Pre-school, kindergarten, 5th grade, eighth grade, etc. I’ve never been to a quiet graduation.
Now if it were possible to press charges against the a%&holes who clap between movements, I would be all for it.
Speaking on being thrown unceremoniously into the ocean, no post on Chaffeememtun today?
I totally agree.
@Baud: nbcnews is streaming Chaffee. Although I missed the announcement he is taking questions. From some of the questions, I guess we are going to the metric system.
@MomSense: As I have said here I don’t have any kids so I am clueless about them. But I am really close with my niece so learning as she grows up. I went to her pre-preschool graduation last year. I didn’t even know that was a “thing!”
Sounds like the vice principal who tried to preside in similar fashion over my nephew’s HS graduation a few years ago. Fortunately, it didn’t stop the audience from cheering on their family and friends, regardless of how he scowled or threatened.
We might as well devolve down to the practice of having a ceremony after every year.
I can’t imagine that that would be controversial.
Switching to different schools?
@Keith G: Before Jr. High, I think we had “promotion ceremonies”, but it was just going to the teacher’s desk and getting a certificate. I think the reason we had a Jr. High graduation was due to changing school districts(they unified the districts while I was in high school).
I remember with my oldest I was standing around with the moms at pre-school pickup and when the conversation turned to the graduation invitation my reaction was something really snarky. Then I noticed all the shocked mom faces and decided to just shut up and nod my head when the other moms did. I think I’ve been to at least 15 graduations with just my own kids. It’s crazy.
Did Chaffee ever make it to the Democratic Party, or is he pulling a Bernie?
@Keith G: That was kind of my point in my last comment, but I didn’t say it, but thought about it when I went to my niece’s pre-preschool graduation last year.
It seems like they celebrate everything, and this is a public school system, a little too much. But I guess maybe that makes me sound like the person that will be screaming “got off my lawn” in the near future.
It has become a sickness. Swim class, brownies, soccer camp–all get graduations now.
@Baud: I think he’s actually a Democrat. Unlike Bernie, who doesn’t seem to want to associated with folk like me.
Since when does “please hold your applause” at a high school ceremony hold the authority of a legal order?
Also: Screw you, Jay Foster.
@Tommy: On this one, I will join in
Iowa Old Lady
The guy pressing charges needs to get a grip. This isn’t his social studies class being unruly. He’s not the boss of the world.
OT: The digital photo frame that I’ve had for about a year and change decided to turn green(a green cast to all the photos). I re-purposed my old android tablet as a photo frame. Works great!
If I believed in pity votes, I might have voted for poor Lincoln.
There’s a racial script here I’m curious about. Having attended many college commencements (admittedly at pretty wasp-y places), as Betty Cracker noted above, the dean always requests that applause be held to the very end, and, for the most part, people are considerate and save the hootin’ and hollarin’ for the end. There are two groups who conspicuously ignore this: the frat boys/jocks and the African Americans. The frat boys always have to let out a few whoops when their brother crosses the dais, grateful that he graduated after blowing his econ business final. And then the black students’ families always register various degrees of vocal enthusiasm when their kid gets called. When some white girl named Buffy Elaine Hampton goes up, you can hear a pin drop. I wonder if there’s some kind of subtle “sticking it to The Man” thing going on here: in front of 1000 mostly rich, white people, this white-ass guy in a suit told us we all have to be quiet, well fuck that, our boy’s graduating and we’re going to show him we’re here. Just my armchair sociology, which noone should take to the bank, but I wonder if this is a thing.
@MomSense: Oh I get it. When I hear the events I am invited to with my niece I often laugh out loud and cuss. When I went to her preschool play they had actually had a silent auction for the seats in the front. People paid for them (my brother included).
When heard this I am like they are 6 or 7. They are not doing the Sound of Music or Hamlet. But then I guess I should know things have changed since I was a kid.
All students are important in Senatobia schools, and we place strong emphasis on the success of all students in all aspects of the school experience…academically, socially, emotionally, and physically.
What a dick………
Check out the Senatobia mascot on the top left.
@efgoldman: You’ve done a good job with that one! Congrats.
The cool thing about my undergrad commencement was that a good sized group were from Hawaii(quite a few from Punahou*). They all got lei-ed before the ceremony.
*I knew quite a few of them, none of the mentioned a Barry with a funny last name. Did Obummer really go to high school there? Just asking questions here.
Finally a liberal I could vote for:
@WereBear: I’m confused. Is Mr werebear your cat or your husband? Viking funeral for a cat who has ceased to be does sound like the thing, doesn’t it? And Maine Coon toms need armor, which I discovered when The Golden Compass movie came out. The stuff the polar bear wore would have looked perfect on our Tommy.
When my brother graduated from law school in Sacramento one of his classmates dribbled a basketball across the stage and gave it to the dean. The fans in ARCO went wild but my old man about had a stroke!
@MomSense: Ouch. Very close to where I went to high school and where I now live again. We’re the Indians. We love your mascot and it is everywhere.
I am not that super PC guy, but I find it kind of troubling because my town is named after Native Americans. I often joke, and I don’t find it funny, you can’t find one of them. The Germans that founded my town killed them all more than 200 years ago.
Seems calling our high school the Indians just isn’t right on a few different levels.
@jonas: I don’t know about that. My college graduation, in damn near white as snow Nebraska (1984) was punctuated by LOTS of whooping & air horns. Maybe you need to add rednecks to your list of loud people.
@BillinGlendaleCA: My nieces went to Hawthorne and there is a tremendous Polynesian population there. The graduation was wild!
ARCO Plaza or ARCO Center? Your brother had his law school graduation in the house of Satan? Well, law school graduation, guess it’s fitting.
I graduated from high school when I got my USAFI GED in the mail in my quonset hut in Korea. I got fucked up.
@BillinGlendaleCA: Where the hoop is. And he is a die-hard Laker fan!
eta Sleep Train Arena???? That’s hilarious!
@jonas: I suspect there’s a couple of things going on:
1. The upper class kids’ parents’ attitude is more of an “of course my child graduated from X school”
2. The other kids’ parents, including the foreign students and immigrant parents, are VERY proud of their child and consider it a real accomplishment that was not a given for them.
At least that’s my impression from older daughter’s graduation from University of Chicago 3 years ago. I’ll see what happens next weekend with younger daughter.
Did this superintendent do voice-over work on Pink Floyd’s The Wall?
“If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?”
@raven: When I say i used to be one of Satan’s minions, I worked for ARCO(and briefly for BP[great Satan] after the merger).
@cckids: Agreed. My town is overwhelmingly white, as are the vast majority of the inconsiderate jackasses hooting and hollering during the ceremonies I’ve attended. If there’s a “sticking it to The Man” element in any scenario, it’s misdirected: The Man isn’t the one who can’t hear her daughter’s name being called or see her kid receive her diploma because the bozo in the next row is standing up and cheering for Young Snotleigh.
@BillinGlendaleCA: My mom’s second husband worked at the Standard Oil plant in El Segundo.
I don’t recall any shouting at any of my graduations.
@raven: I was in Corporate(Major Litigation to start) in Downtown LA.
@Omnes Omnibus: When I got my master’s at Georgia it was in the basketball arena in June and there was no air. It was HOT and no one said much just hoping to get out!
@BillinGlendaleCA: Bless you my son.
Major Major Major Major
I was in marching band in college. We went to every graduation and stormed the dais to play at the end of the ceremony. We also had “Commencement Speech Bingo” cards, made fresh every year, so that about halfway through the speech people started periodically yelling “Bingo!”
The free space was always “rights, responsibilities, and privileges.” I suppose we were known for silly graduations though.
@jonas: I don’t think it has as much do with race as with class (and the educational background of the family). If your middle class parents and siblings and aunts and uncles and grandparents have all graduated college, then your graduation is semi-expected. Your relatives are still proud of you, but you are walking a familiar path. If you are the first, or one of the first, in your family to graduate from college (or if you have overcome signficant obstacles to get there) it has a much greater meaning and I would expect those families to be a lot more emotional during the ceremony.
EDIT: Or what Shana said above :)
At UGA the sheriff leads the procession in with a drawn sword. It’s a tradition that goes back to warding off injuns!
@MattR: We went to a nephew’s graduation at ETSU and it was quite a site. There were people in wife beaters and nascar hats and people in suits. Place was a madhouse.
Oh yea, my dissertation was a qual work looking at why people quit high school, why they went back for their GED and what they made of the experience. I went to a number of GED graduations and they were usually part church, part AA meeting and part Mardi Gras.
@raven: Law school graduation was like that for me. Almost 100 degrees and humid. Outside in the sun. Wearing black wool doctoral robes. The speaker was some libertarian kook. Which reminds me. One of the libertarian kooks from my class stood up and clapped in the middle of the guy’s speech when the guy talked about the sanctity of property rights or some such thing.
It’s not offensive because they make up for it with the Tomahawk Chop.
@Baud: This is GEORGIA not FSU!!!! We be woofin not choppin!
I was thinking of the Atlanta Braves.
@Omnes Omnibus: In Madison? That IS hot for there!
@Baud: I know. This is the Dawg Nation. The Bravos are an afterthought in these parts.
@raven: I went to law school in Ohio.
What the fuck are these people doing in education? Arresting family members for cheering their graduating kids, who are no longer part of that school. What order is he trying to restore? He sounds exactly like the kind of dick who’d fire a lunch lady for giving a student some food when they’d forgotten their lunch money. “Them’s the rules!”
(I remember Miss Manners always use to decry in her column, the increasing trend of people applauding a marrying couple in church. “Another solemn occasion, harrumph, harrumph.” But at least she didn’t try to have anybody arrested.)
@MattR: That I think that is a very good point and where I don’t have a reference to work from. My father, grandfather, great-grandfather all had PhDs. My mom and grandmother had college degrees.
It was just a “given” I’d get a high school degree and much more. A stepping stone. Not really an important event. No importance put to it really. The question was what are you doing to do next?
So think using the best empathy I can muster if I had a child that had never done what anybody else in their family would have done I’d want the experience to be far more solemn.
@Omnes Omnibus: Aha, still, dat be’s hot!
@Omnes Omnibus: That sounds a lot like my undergrad ceremony except we had an awning covering us and didn’t have a libertarian kook speaking, just a Republican one – the first President Bush.
@raven: It was miserable. The worst part was that my brother and I had stayed up all night talking the night before, so I was going through it all on no sleep.
@Omnes Omnibus: I went to Sacramento when my brother graduated from McGeorge. I had just gotten my masters so we combined the family affair. The first thing I did when I saw him at the motel was to pick him up and plunge both of us into the pool!
I guess I fall on the other side and have empathy for those who forget decorum and start hooting and hollering when they see their baby walk across the stage.
@MomSense: Thankfully we only attended jr high, HS, and college graduations for our three. My youngest was born in ’82.
My oldest child was born in 1970 and his HS graduation was special, more special than the girls’ events were. His HS had the most minority students in the district, but it also had the best GPA in the county. A lot of UC profs lived in the North district so it was a great mix and in order to achieve that GPA the minority students had to be contributing (and not all prof’s kids are good students). North was looked on as the “less than” HS in town and realtors would steer newcomers to the district that included Poly.
Poly was where the rich white kids went; it was the original HS in town so there was a bit of pride in having your kid go to the same HS that you graduated from (even though it had moved out of downtown and onto the polo fields); the student parking lot was full of Mercedes and BMWs. There were some minority students but you rarely heard anything about them; I heard one of them became a basketball wonder, and her brother was pretty good too. Poly was also fairly notorious for its rowdy, out-of-control graduation ceremonies, as well as stupidly tragic: one year a valedictorian committed suicide on stage to punctuate the end of his speech. there were a couple of other incidents involving weapons but I don’t remember them clearly.
When my son was a senior and about to graduate from North the jr principal had the seniors come to a meeting and discussed the kind of press Poly was getting every year and the way North was treated like the step-child of the district, and the kids agreed with him that some measure of dignity was to be observed. It was a tradition at North. The parents got letters from the VP and the kids were charged with discussing it with their parents. Now, this wasn’t a quiet event, it was a joyous one, and most of the families did treat the other grads with respect (except for that one clan of idiots with the air horn which was confiscated the second time they used it, stupid rednecks). What I remember besides hearing my son’s name and being proud of him was that one of the boys from his Boy Scout troop did a “Russian” after he got is diploma. Pulled it off perfectly. The principal paused before going on, thanked the young man, smiled and continued. Did not phase him at all. The kid was one of the high achievers, got a big scholarship to Harvard.
@MattR: Well what you do is politely ask them to stop. It isn’t a complex thought process. If they disagree you politely sit back down and deal with it. But about 95% of the time I’ve not found asking somebody to stop doing this or that politely that bothered me and in a quite, non-confrontation manner works out.
@Betty Cracker: A couple years before my class graduated there were at least a dozen people in the gym with air horns. You literally couldn’t hear a damn thing and it was rude as hell. If that’s what was going on here, I’d be sympathetic to the principal. if it’s just people violating the “hold your applause” instruction, well, that happens at every damn graduation I go to and no one gives a shit.
@Tommy: Absolutely. No need for it to escalate beyond a shushing.
@Major Major Major Major: Stanford?
I was in concert and marching band in HS and college, and I played at all of the graduations I was not in, so six extras.
I played at so many games and events that by the time I was out of college I had forgotten some of the words to the Star Spangled Banner.
@Tom Levenson: Still not a reason for hootin’ and hollerin’ in the middle of the event. That said, hootin’ and hollerin’ at a graduation isn’t grounds for “disturbing the peace” charges.
@raven: He is impressive. I would not want to tangle with that gentleman.
@MattR: I think your version was more eloquent than mine.
@opiejeanne: He just left to take the job in Savannah.
@MattR: I’ve lived in a lot of places. Different races, income level, you name it. Always found that politely asking somebody to stop doing this or that, if it wasn’t a totally stupid request, didn’t work out.
@raven: His look of utter determination is really something.
I hope that’s a good move for him.
@Betty Cracker: Original Daughter’s graduation was in a church. The graduates were told multiple times ahead of the ceremony to talk to their families about the “wait until the end” rule (because of echoes, even a small cheer is magnified and rebounds amazingly). However, the faculty has a pool on whose family will break the rule, which I guess keeps them awake during the handing out of diplomas. This also means that multiple official-type people are keeping track of who is rude. Final transcripts of students whose families break the rule are held until the student comes in to the bursar and pays a $50 fine. We only had 3 “disruptions” out of almost 300 graduates, which shows, I guess, that the rule works. Wonder why these Mississippi folks don’t have anything similar if they’re so bent on decorum.
I can imagine that if anyone shows up to mine it will be to make sure I’m dead and to assist in that endeavor if there is any question. On the other hand I plan to have a monolog running of my stories that bore the piss out of everyone, just for old times sake.
Joy in FL
I’m not sure if someone posted this in the comments here– I haven’t taken time to read them all.
I found the Senatobia school system easily through the Google. The Superintendent’s email is on the site, and I just emailed him and asked him to drop the criminal charges.
Just thought some of you might be interested in contacting him. I was particularly motivated to do so because of being a (retired) teacher, and I think it’s outrageous that the leader of a school system would think it was a good idea to humiliate and threaten/prosecute families of students in the school system.
We weren’t supposed to clap as the names were read either, but when the kid with cerebral palsy who was in a wheelchair all his life crossed the stage (nothing wrong with his brain, just his legs), he got a five-minute standing ovation.
@jonas: not really. If you’ve been to AA churches you know that there is a big cultural difference between expressing joy publicly as well as grief than there is in most white churches, where the point seems to be that respectful = dead silence.
Quaker in a Basement
@Cacti: And presidential SOTU speeches. No shouting!
It never fails
People that say being kicked out is enough punishment are way off track. Being kicked out is no punishment at all. Your kid has already been announced. So the penalty is what, exactly? Getting to leave an overly boring event after you got to see what you were there for? Obviously you have no problem acting like an ass, so there’s no embarrasment factor to being kicked out.
It truly is the core of what is wrong with this country. Too many people decide the rules don’t apply to them. Whether it’s the corporate exec that decides to ignore safety or, environmental regs because they cut into his profits,or something as simple as the person that ignores the 10 or less items sign in the supermarket, because they are in a hurry. Doing things that adversely affect others around you, because you think you are special, sounds a lot like the acts of a sociopath.
It is an attitude that is simply toxic. You are not more important than the family who can’t hear their kid’s name called because you want to shout. And if the only way you can show your kid that you are proud of them is by acting a fool, you are hardly being a role model.
Yes, it is a bit harsh to have them arrested, but you probably only have to do it once or twice to cure the problem for many years to come.
Plus, I doubt the people that disrupted the ceremony will end up with any thing more than a fine, but maybe they will learn a lesson about what it’s like to have somebody be a dick and engage in an action that inconveniences you.
I think the announcers should withhold announcing the next student’s name until the family has cheered their graduate. Fuck holding your cheers to the end. I know it makes the ceremony take longer, but I want to give my child a cheer for their accomplishment. Also, there are 500 kids in her class and her last name starts with a B. I just graduated from college with 200 other students and the announcers did this, and it was great – everyone had a moment and we could hear the names of all the graduates.
@pete: I will give the Sheriff’s office a bit of break here because once this asshole swore out a complaint before a justice of the peace, they did not have much choice. However, I expect Mr. Asshole Superintendent is about to have a very bad summer with countersuit.
@moderateindy: Yeah, because, you know, throwing black people in jail and loading them up with fines for petty offences has worked so well in this country.
The fact that the charges were pressed a week later leads me to suspect that someone with pull was really pissed about the incident and, after an initial refusal/delay-to-hope-they-calm-down, got the police involved. Jay Foster may well be the fall guy for this, but unless he puts the responsibility where it belongs, he owns it.
On graduations: my brother went to Northeastern. One of the best things about graduations at the Boston Garden is that the concession stands remain open. My mom was pissed but we did do popcorn and soda runs. Don’t remember if they sold beer or not.
@BillinGlendaleCA: “*I knew quite a few of them, none of the mentioned a Barry with a funny last name.”
Bill this is Hawaii. In any given class you would have people with Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Filipino and Haole surnames. When you got Billy Suzuki and Benny Opunui sitting on one side and Sally Ng and Kelly Kelekolia on the other side neither Obama’s name or even his color is going to stand out.(actual Hawaaiian names from Wiki)
@mac007: It’s fairly offensive that you go right to the; “this is unfair to black people” meme, as if black people are the only ones that act like inconsiderate a**holes at graduation ceremonies. I’m pretty sure that if black people knew going in to the deal that if they disrupt the proceedings they will face the hassle of having to go to court, they will be able to control themselves. That goes for all the other races that decide they don’t have to abide by a simple rule like waiting for the end to clap, so that everybody gets to hear their kids name announced.
@moderateindy: You can be offended all you want. The simple fact of the matter is we have a white school superintendent — in Missis-fucking-sippi — using the power of his office to punish a black family because “We must have order.” Sound familiar? This is the modus operandi of today’s institutional racism (see also: St. Louis County, Missouri; “Broken Windows” policing). You’re just burying your head in the sand to pretend that race has nothing to do with this.
This is life, here in the Armpit, TN area. Sure, this is MS, but it’s ALLLLL Armpit Region. Serious shit excuses for Humanity down here.
this is a white school and we will make no allowances for cultural differences. everyone must act like they’re in an episcopal church!!!
I’ve been to tons of graduations and everyone cheers for everyone. This is the fucking south for god’s sake. Get the stick out of your ass.