An African-American family is in shock after four members receivied arrest warrants notifying them that they’ve been charged with disturbing the peace for cheering during a recent high school graduation ceremony in Mississippi.
The crime committed by Linda and Henry Walker, plus two others, was to shout out support for their daughter Lakaydra, 18, as she crossed the stage to receive her diploma from Senatobia High School.
School superintendent Jay Foster had asked audience members not to cheer until all the graduates’ names had been called, but the Miller family didn’t comply.
The teen’s father, Henry Walker can be heard shouting ‘You did it, baby’ to laughs from the crowd in cell phone footage broadcast by WREG-TV.
Ursula Miller said she also called out her niece’s name.
‘When she went across the stage I just called her name out. ‘Lakaydra’. Just like that,’ she said.
School officials quickly asked the girl’s parents and two other relatives to leave the ceremony, which was held at Northwest Mississippi Community College.
About a week later, the four family member were served with court papers after Superintendent Foster filed disturbing the peace charges against them.
‘It’s crazy,’ Henry Walker said. ‘The fact that I might have to bond out of jail, pay court costs or a $500 fine for expressing my love – it’s ridiculous man. It’s ridiculous.’
Foster defended his decision to WREG and said he is determined to have order at his graduation ceremonies.
‘I can understand they can escort me out of the graduation, but to say they going to put me in jail for it. What else are they allowed to do?’ said Miller.
Linda Walker complained that she and her husband can’t afford a needless expense such as this.
‘Why assign papers on someone? We don’t have money for anything like that,’ she said.
The Walkers and their relatives are due in court Monday, and if they are not able to afford the fines they could be sent to jail.