A school in South Carolina reportedly warned students and parents of a potential fine if they cheered during a graduation ceremony.
During a school assembly, students of Greenville High School were told by the school officials that their family members could face a fine of $1,030 if they yelled during the upcoming graduation ceremony.
“Since graduation is a dignified and solemn occasion, graduating seniors and their guests should behave appropriately. Please ask your guests not to call out, cheer, whistle, or applaud during the reading of names and presentation of diplomas. The citation for family members yelling out is $1,030,” read the slide played during the assembly.
However, the school went a little too far with the warning.
Greenville police Sgt. Johnathan Bragg said they won’t be handing tickets to parents. He said police would only interfere only if someone disrupts the ceremony or is unlawfully interrupting, because then it would be a totally different matter and fall under “disorderly conduct.”
Bragg further said, “We've made it very clear that we don't remove people. It's not our property. It's the arena's property. Screaming somebody’s name or congratulating them, that’s not a police matter. We would only get involved when it’s actually a criminal matter. As far as charging someone for yelling, we have not done that.”
According to Greenville County Schools spokeswoman Beth Brotherton, neither the school district nor the school itself has the authority to cite parents. The right is in the hands of the police department as the event will take place at a venue that is under the Greenville Police Department jurisdiction.
However, Brotherton maintained the ceremony is a celebration and students work really hard to get there and if parents cheer the names of the children, the MOC might not be heard. She added it would ruin the entire experience and would be very distracting.
Parents of graduating students agreed with the distracting part of the warning; however, they dismissed the idea of the excessive fine.
“It can kind of ruin the ceremony for everybody if you act out and cheer. It's distracting. You can't hear the names of the next kid being called. I think you should be quiet, sit there and respect the ceremony… [fine of $1,030 is excessive, and] I don't know how that's enforceable,” said a parent, Jeff Macfie.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Brian Snyder