Could parents really be fined $1,030 for cheering at a high school graduation?

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GREENVILLE, S.C. – A $1,030 fine for cheering at a graduation ceremony?

An administrator at a South Carolina school warned students and parents about the possibility, according to the Greenville News.

The newspaper reported that a slide shown at a school assembly said the following:

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.

Despite the slide—and the warning—it’s unlikely anyone would get cited for cheering. District officials said the slide was meant to show that graduation is a “publicly sanctioned event” that falls under the jurisdiction of the Greenville Police Department. As a result, police would have the authority to cite or fine people who disrupt the ceremony.

Greenville police Sgt. Johnathan Bragg told the Greenville News that police wouldn’t ticket family members who clapped, cheered or whistled during graduation.

“Screaming somebody’s name or congratulating them, that’s not a police matter,” Bragg told the publication. “We would only get involved when it’s actually a criminal matter. As far as charging someone for yelling, we have not done that.”

If someone is continually disruptive and refuses to leave at the request of arena staff, it’s possible police could get involved. Bragg said it would be a “different story” if someone started yelling obscenities because that could fall under “disorderly conduct.”

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