South Carolina Mom Arrested for Cheering Too Loudly at Daughter’s Graduation

Shannon Cooper, WPDE News
Shannon Cooper, WPDE News

A Myrtle Beach teen's high school graduation on Saturday was ruined when her excited mom, Shannon Cooper, was arrested for cheering.

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Although parents were reportedly warned that they would be asked to leave the auditorium where the ceremony was held if they applauded for individual students receiving their diplomas, Cooper disagreed with the policy. She told WPDE NewsChannel 15 that she decided, "I'm going to cheer, because…I've gone through too much to get her to this point." She added incredulously, "I can't let her know 'I'm so proud of you?'"

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When her daughter Iesha crossed the stage, Cooper claims that, "I got up and I said: 'Yay, my baby made it! Just a regular cheer.'" That's when police handcuffed her, escorted her to a van outside of the venue, and charged her with disorderly conduct. After the ceremony, her daughter broke down in tears when she spotted her mom being held in the van. "Are ya'll serious? Are ya'll for real? I mean, that's what I'm thinking in my mind," says Cooper. "I didn't say anything. I was just like okay, I can't fight the law." She challenges the validity of the disorderly conduct charge since she says she fully cooperated with police. She and her daughter also assert that others were cheering and avoided arrest.

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Cooper was moved to a detention center where she spent several hours. Ultimately, she was able to post a $225 bond and return home. Iesha says what should have been the best day of her life turned into the worst. "Yesterday [graduation day] can't be replaced," says the teen. "I'm going to remember…she's going to remember for the rest of her life. My mama went to jail on my graduation day."

Were the police too harsh? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.


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