It was a show of shame at a high school graduation in Tennessee U.S. as two separate fights broke out between parents who came to witness their children’s graduation from Arlington High School near Memphis.
Graduating seniors were walking in their caps and gowns on Tuesday at Bellevue Baptist Church when the first scene between two women appeared to start lunging and hitting each other as several others attempt to restrain them.
It was unclear what prompted the fight but some said the brawl was caused by a row between the two women over a reserved seat. Several Bellevue security officers had to step in to calm things down.
The second fight saw an older man filming the graduates as they walk into the room. He then shoves a woman wearing a brown dress after she appears to hit him with the graduation program.
According to ABC NEWS, the woman had pushed the man back when a second lady wearing a black top, tosses water on him. A third woman tries to defend the man and is seen lunging at the woman who threw the beverage.
That’s when things escalate and other family members jump into the melee. At one point, the woman in the brown dress is seen beating another lady as people try to separate them.
In the background, graduates are seen walking by the commotion with puzzled looks on their faces.
In a statement, Arlington County Community Schools Chief of Staff Jeffery Mayo said it was “unfortunate that a couple of adults in the audience exhibited the behaviour they did” and “caused a distraction” from celebrating the departing class.
“It is our hope that the focus will shift to our students and their accomplishments instead of the poor decisions by adults in attendance.”
The incident happened before the ceremony began and did not affect it, Mayo said.
The 500 students who graduated earned some $30.6 million in college scholarships, he added.
According to the Shelby County Sheriff’s office, the incident was handled by church security.
A spokesperson for the Bellevue Baptist Church did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.