A South Carolina woman, Sharon Cooper, was arrested for cheering last Saturday at her daughter’s high school graduation. The school had sent out multiple requests that the audience remain silent while the names of the graduates were announced and warned parents that they could be removed by police if they did not comply with this request. Cooper claims she stood up and cheered for her daughter, because “I’m going to cheer, because…I’ve gone through too much to get her to this point. I can’t let her know ‘I’m so proud of you?’”
Yes, Sharon Cooper, you CAN let your daughter know you are proud of her…at an appropriate time and place. You chose to do so at the wrong time, and you KNEW that. The school no doubt decided on this policy out of respect for the graduates and their families. Every parent should have the right to hear their child’s name called out during the ceremony. Cheering can prevent people from hearing all of the names. Disagreeing with the policy is fine, but don’t expect to be above clearly stated consequences if you choose not to follow it.
Rules are put in place to enforce safety and rights of others. Consequences are given to those who fail to respect those rules. We do have freedom of speech in this country, but in this case, the audience was warned that there would be consequences for being disruptive.
While I don’t agree that Cooper should have been arrested (disorderly conduct) for simply cheering, I also think there is probably more to the story. My guess is that she was asked to leave and then caused a scene, although that is speculation on my end.
The sad part in all this is that the daughter says her graduation day is ruined. She can never have that day back. She has no one to blame but her own mother. The mother chose to act in a manner that was against expectations, and ultimately, both she and her daughter paid the price.
What do you think about Cooper’s actions and the ensuing consequences?