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Women charged in melee at Meadville graduation

Two Vernon Hill women face misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct following a scuffle that erupted following a graduation ceremony for fifth graders at Meadville Elementary School on the next to last day of school, according to Halifax County Sheriff Fred Clark.

Sandra Howerton, 26, of Mountain Road and 38-year-old Rose Marie Wells of Thompson Store Road were each served with warrants Tuesday.

The two women came to blows in the cafeteria shortly after the fifth graders had graduated.

The altercation spilled over onto a table of cake, punch and other refreshments awaiting the graduates and their families.

Joey Adams, an off-duty county deputy whose wife is a teacher at Meadville Elementary, had attended the graduation ceremony with other relatives and intervened to break up the fight, Clark said. 

The deputy called the sheriff’s department for backup but was able to get the tense situation under control before other deputies arrived at the school.

Clark said school personnel and volunteers salvaged the refreshments, so the graduates and guests could enjoy the reception on their last day of elementary school.

The cause of the fight remains a mystery but was an unpleasant interruption in what should have been a memorable occasion, according to the sheriff.

“The sad thing now is all these students are going to remember is that on the day of their elementary school graduation two parents got into a fight. What an example these parents set,” Clark said.