Andrew Dys

How many arrested for cheering at York County graduations?

Fort Mill High School awarded diplomas to 387 graduating seniors Friday evening at Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill.
Fort Mill High School awarded diplomas to 387 graduating seniors Friday evening at Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill. Special to The Herald

York County, South Carolina has a better record than Mississippi, after police made no arrests over the weekend at York County’s seven high school graduations at Winthrop Coliseum.

Rock Hill Police, who are contracted to handle security along with Winthrop police, reported no arrests, said Capt. Mark Bollinger, spokesman for Rock Hill police.

Graduations were held Thursday for Clover, Friday for York, Fort Mill and Nation Ford, and Saturday for Rock Hill, Northwestern, and South Pointe.

“We did have several people who clapped or cheered and then took themselves out knowing that they would be ejected, but we did not make any arrests or issue any summons,” Bollinger said.

York County’s four school districts ban cheering or clapping for individuals as names of graduates are called. Only cheering at the end for all graduates is allowed. The policy in past years led to several arrests for cheering and brought national attention to the area after people were led out in handcuffs. One year eight people were charged: Last year one was taken to jail.

Arrests at graduation in Mississippi last week - just days before York County’s annual possibility of arrests - made national news.

Many people - myself being the loudest - have slammed the no-cheering policy as being overly cautious and stupid. But the schools decide and the luckless cops who contract with the school districts to work the graduations as security have to enforce the zero-tolerance, zero-clapping, zero-cheering policy.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065 •  adys@heraldonline.com

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