Man says he was honoring his late wife by cheering

A graduation cheer last week put a graduate's widowed father in handcuffs after he yelled for his daughter, honoring his late wife's request.

The incident took place at Winthrop Coliseum in Rock Hill – where seven other people were arrested for cheering during Fort Mill and York high school graduations last week.

Allen Brandon, 37, of Rock Hill said he was removed from Northwestern High School's commencement ceremony in handcuffs June 6 after he stood and shouted “Go Amanda” when daughter Amanda Brandon's name was called.

Allen Brandon, whose wife Renee lost a battle with lung cancer in April, said he shouted because his wife wanted her daughter to be cheered.

Brandon was not taken to jail like the other suspects. Instead, he was issued a citation, which carries a $255 fine, and asked to leave the premises.

Like other area high schools, Northwestern has strict policies about cheering out of turn during the presentation of diplomas. The school requests Winthrop campus police to enforce the rules, said Rock Hill schools spokeswoman Elaine Baker. She said all graduates and their families are warned about the rules in advance.