Dad Cheering For Every Single Student At Graduation Delights Internet

At the end of a school year that strained both educators and families, one supportive dad has brought the internet together.

The father yelled an individual cheer for every single student at a high school graduation in Colleyville, Texas. His daughter Marlaina Capetillo shared clips of him calling out student names in a TikTok video on May 30, racking up over 586,000 views.

"Papa cheering for EVERY graduate on the Colleyville roster," Capetillo captioned the post.

The video showed her dad, identified as Mario, shouting students' names after the announcer called them to claim their diplomas. Capetillo captured him cheering the names "Jackson," "Aliyah," "Sean," "Reid," "Connor," "John" and "Zachary" as proudly as if they were his own children.

But that was just a snippet of his support, she said, scanning her camera across the "Class of 2022" pamphlet crammed with hundreds of names.

"He said every last one of these names followed with a knee clap," Capetillo noted.

After all the names were called, Mario immediately rose to his feet and led the audience in a standing ovation.

The 2021-2022 school year saw children's education become a site of political and social strife across the United States.

In March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a law nicknamed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, which prohibits "classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner." The bill was protested through public school and employee walkouts and condemned by major leaders of corporations like Disney, with activists arguing that it would harm LGBTQ+ students.

High School Graduates
At the end of a school year that strained both educators and families, one supportive dad has brought the internet together. Here, a high school graduation in Bradley, Illinois, in 2021. Scott Olson / Staff/Getty Images North America

Meanwhile, a vicious debate over the academic framework of critical race theory (CRT), which examines the intersections of racism with politics, culture and law propelled dozens of bills banning CRT from being taught in schools. A disproportionate number of authors impacted by the bans were Black and LGBTQ+.

On top of these fights, disputes over COVID-19 mask mandates in schools sparked protests nationwide.

And school shootings have torn at the heart of the country, with the recent massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde becoming the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012.

Against this fraught backdrop, internet viewers were relieved to watch a dad who highlighted the beauty of kids, families and teachers uniting to celebrate academic achievement.

This is amazing. Some graduates don't have anyone to cheer for them.
Reddit comment

"This is amazing. Some graduates don't have anyone to cheer for them," one viewer wrote.

"My father wasn't at any of my graduations, including college," another said. "If your Papa called out my name it would [have] meant the world to me!"

A third viewer agreed, "Protect this man. I had 1 person to cheer for me, he's the dad some of them didn't have."

Newsweek reached out to Capetillo for comment.