Friday, June 05, 2015


Senatobia, Mississippi school superintendent Jay Foster is called a racist for having black family members arrested who disregarded the request to hold any applause until the end of a high school graduation ceremony

Jay Foster, superintendent of schools in Senatobia, Mississippi, is determined to have order at graduation ceremonies. At the beginning of the recent Senatobia High School graduation ceremony, he asked the audience not to scream and to hold their applause until the end, or face ejection.

Several black families disregarded Foster’s request and were ejected from the building. Furthermore, two weeks later, arrest warrants for disturbing the peace were issued for four of the blacks. Now Foster is being accused of racism.

Shaun King of the Daily Kos says:

“At a time where the nation is talking about problems in the United States with mass incarceration and the over-criminalization of society, rarely has such a clear example of African Americans being overcharged for everyday behaviors as this.”

Yelling and screaming like a bunch of fools is everyday behavior? Not where I come from.

When I graduated from high school in 1943, the graduation ceremony was a solemn and respectful one with no applause from the audience until it was over. The same when I got my college degrees in 1952 and 1954.

All that has changed and now graduation ceremonies are becoming a farce. There was so much yelling during the high school graduation ceremonies for my two granddaughters that you could not hear the names being called off for many of the graduates. The same was true during the ceremony when one of my granddaughters graduated from Sam Houston State University a couple of weeks ago.

It's sad for me to say this, but at all the above ceremonies, African-Americans appeared to be doing most of and the loudest yelling, but there were plenty of whites yelling too. At the Sam Houston ceremony there was a black man directly behind me who even started yelling at the top of his voice before the ceremony started. I am estimating that during the ceremony, the names of half the graduates could not be heard because of all the yelling.

Black parents, families and friends, perhaps more so than whites, have every reason to be very proud that their loved one has graduated, whether from high school or college. But that doesn't give them the right to be disruptive at what should be a solemn ceremony. And the same holds true for white families.

I hope Superintendent Foster sticks to his guns. The accusations that Foster is a racist for bringing charges against some of the disrupting noisemakers is pure hogwash! He was merely trying to restore some much needed decorum to graduation ceremonies, and that's not being racist.

Instead of being condemned, Superintendent Foster should be commended!


bob walsh said...

Nobody popped any caps. That was fairly high up on the decorum level for many high schools these days.

Anonymous said...

So what? If someone breaks the cycle of drugs, and welfare by graduating in an effort to be successful, I say, Hip, Hip, Hooray!