Superintendent drops charges against families who cheered at graduation

Posted at 12:53 PM, Jun 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-09 12:53:22-04

Four people accused of disrupting the peace at a Mississippi high school graduation ceremony are no longer expected to show up to court Tuesday, after a schools superintendent said he’s dropping the charges.

“We respectfully withdraw the complaint against these individuals,” Senatobia Schools Superintendent Jay Foster told CNN affiliate WHBQ.

Foster filled out an affidavit to file charges after he said a Senatobia High School graduation ceremony was disrupted by people who ignored his repeated requests for the audience to hold all applause until the end.

“We want everyone to see their own loved ones graduate and hear their names called,” he said. “When people disrupt that, it takes away from the students and their families.”

The superintendent, who is in his fifth year in the district, said attaining that goal was so important to him, he had a reminder put in the graduation program. When the graduation was interrupted, he moved to take legal action.

“Our purpose in filing the complaints was not to place a hardship of any kind on the four individuals who disrupted the ceremony, but to protect the rights of the class of 2015,” Foster said to WHBQ just minutes after dropping the charges.

CNN’s attempts to reach Foster about his change of heart were unsuccessful.

Ursula Miller said she still plans on showing up at court this afternoon, since no one told her that the charges had been dropped.

Miller was one of four people to receive a warrant for her arrest. She had yelled her niece’s name as she walked across the stage at graduation.

“I just called her name out. ‘Lakaydra,’ just like that,” Miller told CNN affiliate WREG after the incident.

She said it’s the superintendent who caused the real disruption by bringing the charges against her. What was supposed to be a celebration, Miller said, has upset her very much.

“It was supposed to be a joyous occasion,” Miller said.