Girl escorted from ceremony after dancing during high school graduation


What started as a happy dance at a high school graduation Monday at Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, ended with the dancing student being escorted from the ceremony, without her diploma.

>> Read more trending news

The Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology student told WSOC-TV she went to get her diploma the next day but was told she couldn't have it until school leaders spoke with her parents.

Mary Caldwell said she had waited for that graduation moment for most of her life.

Her family captured the moment the senior walked across the stage to get her diploma, and then she started dancing and twirling.

“Everything was happening at once,” Caldwell said. “I just wanted to show some of my excitement and my family was excited with me."

She was waving to her family on the way to her seat.

“I was waving at them because I was just, like, ‘Hey, can y'all see me? I'm excited,'” Caldwell said.

Seconds later, an officer approached her and escorted her out.

Caldwell said the school principal told her that her behavior was the reason why she was escorted out.

Before that, she said there were no rules against dancing.

“They didn't mention anything about that,” Caldwell said. “They said which side to wear your tassel on. They were going over speeches.”

We reached out to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools about the incident.

“Any parent or guardian who has concerns about graduation expectations for student behavior and protocol should meet with school administrators to determine next steps,” a district spokesperson said in a statement.

Caldwell said she went back to school with her sister on Wednesday to meet with the principal, but she still did not get her diploma.

“I deserve my diploma,” Caldwell said. “I had 24 credits. That’s the requirement. I didn’t have any financial obligations. Why couldn’t I get my diploma?”

She said the principal would only agree to move forward after speaking with her parents.

WSOC-TV spoke with Caldwell''s mother over the phone, and she called the ordeal an overreaction.

The mother said she will go to the school on Thursday.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Thief fails three-point-turn, flees after he can’t get truck out of driveway
Thief fails three-point-turn, flees after he can’t get truck out of driveway

A thief failed to steal a truck because he could not complete a three-point turn to get around another vehicle in a driveway and then fled the scene, surveillance video shows.  Video posted by the Bensalem Police Department shows a man trying to steal the unlocked truck early Wednesday morning.  The man, who appears to be in...
Trump demands major change in how U.S. legal system deals with illegal aliens
Trump demands major change in how U.S. legal system deals with illegal aliens

As Republicans struggled again to gather a majority in the House this week for an immigration reform bill, President Donald Trump on Sunday seemed to hint that the effort might be a waste of time, blaming Democrats for their opposition to GOP plans, and demanding major changes in how the U.S. legal system deals with those illegally...
BET Awards 2018: Winners list
BET Awards 2018: Winners list

The 2018 BET Awards aired Sunday at from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. >> Read more trending news  DJ Khaled leads the nominations with six, but close behind are Kendrick Lamar with five nominations and SZA and Migos with four nods each. All four nominees are performers at the show, which is hosted by Jamie Foxx. Some of...
5 arrested for murder of New York teen who was hacked to death with machete
5 arrested for murder of New York teen who was hacked to death with machete

Police arrested five people Sunday in connection with a brutal machete attack on a teen outside a Bronx bodega earlier in the week.  Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, was pulled out of the Cruz and Chiky grocery Wednesday by members of the Dominican gang Trinitarios, who beat him, hacked him with a machete and left him to die on the sidewalk outside...
Suspect accused in mentally disabled woman's assault was once police chief
Suspect accused in mentally disabled woman's assault was once police chief

Roughly 20 years before Robert Lanier New became embroiled in assault allegations tied to a mentally disabled woman and her niece, he served as the police chief in Emerson.  City officials confirmed to WSB-TV that New had two stints with Emerson police. New first served with the department from September 1998 to February 1999, when he left...
More Stories