Gayles was one of five students denied diplomas from the lone public high school in Galesburg after enthusiastic friends or family members cheered for them during commencement.
About a month before the May 27 ceremony, Galesburg High students and their parents had to sign a contract promising to act in dignified way. Violators were warned they could be denied their diplomas and barred from the after-graduation party.
Many schools across the country ask spectators to hold applause and cheers until the end of graduation. But few of them enforce the policy with what some in Galesburg say are strong-arm tactics.
This from CNN, Photo by Kent Kriegshauser, The Register Mail / AP