Family members at a Tennessee high school graduation — that took place in a church — became embroiled in a fight over seats Tuesday night as their kids marched down the aisle.
Video online spread like wildfire, showing adults punching, kicking, pulling hair and screaming at each other as onlookers yelled for security.
Octavius Adams, an alum of Arlington High School in Cordova, Tennessee, told News Channel 3 that he had sat in the seats that were being saved by a family, but when they asked him to move, he obliged. But another group came along shortly thereafter, and this escalated from there.
“A family of five wanted to sit in a certain area and the family of two came and disrupted that area,” he said. “They wouldn’t move so they pretty much stood their ground.”
He said a woman in a brown dress allegedly told them they couldn’t save seats and wouldn’t move.
“They felt entitled to those seats,” Adams said. “I don’t know what was special about them, but they wanted them.”
In the video, a woman in a brown dress can be seen yelling at someone offscreen, while a man holding a video camera pushes her out of the way. The woman pushes back, and then pushes a young girl out of the way, sparking the altercation.
According to Fox 13 Memphis, one woman was handcuffed and another was escorted out of the graduation ceremony. Thus far, no one has been charged for the incident.
Arlington Chief of Staff Jeffrey G. Mayo released a statement after the incident, writing “It was unfortunate that a couple of adults in the audience exhibited the behavior they did prior to the ceremony beginning and thus has caused a distraction from the celebration of our students’ accomplishments.”
“The graduation ceremony was not affected by this incident due to the actions of Bellevue’s security team who promptly removed the adults from the ceremony,” the statement read. “It is our hope that the focus will shift to our students and their accomplishments instead of the poor decision by adults in attendance.”