South Carolina high school administrator says family members could be fined $1,030 for cheering at graduation

GREENVILLE, S.C. - An administrator at a South Carolina high school recently told students and family members that cheering during the graduation ceremony could cost big bucks, the Greenville News reports.

The administrator said cheering during Greenville High School graduation at Bon Secours Wellness Arena would result in a $1,030 fine.

A slide shown at an assembly stated, "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."

District officials, however, said they will not cite family members for cheering.

The district said because the graduation is a "publicly sanctioned event," it is under the jurisdiction of the Greenville Police Department, hence the warning on the slideshow.

But Greenville police Sgt. Johnathan Bragg told the Greenville News police will not ticket family members for cheering, whistling or applauding during the reading of names.

Police could get involved if someone in the audience is continually disruptive and refuses to leave after being asked by arena staff.

"If someone starts yelling obscenities, that's a different story," Bragg said. "That would get into the 'disorderly' realm."

While the fine was taken a bit out of context, it raised an interesting question. We spoke with parents of students who graduated recently and the consensus was pretty much the same.

We visited a business where you can definitely throw a party for your graduate, Party City, and had to ask, what do you think?

"It's so stupid," said Mandi Cowan. "I don't know about that," replied Cole Coultas. "I think that's a little unreasonable," said another customer.

Still, there are exceptions. "I would see it if it was college graduation and there are a million people trying to graduate," said Cowan.

Schools here in north Alabama work toward keeping their ceremonies dignified. "Our principals send out and as superintendent, I'll send out something to everyone and it's not hard fast rules or a policy," said Robby Parker, Superintendent of Madison City Schools.

Madison City Schools says they encourage parents to cheer but to be mindful of other students.

"We call out a name every three seconds, and so we ask that there be no prolonged cheering and no artificial noisemakers," said Parker.

We spoke with a representative from the school district and they say they will not be fining anyone. They say the photo was taken out of context and they've been giving that presentation for years, saying that the presenter referred to that fine as a consequence for breach of peace.