Students Ban Michelle Obama From Speaking At Their School
April 20, 2014 7:02am PST
Graduating high school is arguably the most important day of a young man’s or woman’s life. As Michelle Obama has been recently announced to address several Kansas’ schools during a graduation ceremony, it appears as though not everyone is in favor of the FLOTUS’ appearance.
Although many have expressed their utter joy that the notorious woman is coming to speak in honor of the Brown v. Board of Education’s anniversary, many parents have expressed concerns that her anticipated arrival is overshadowing their children’s accomplishments.
(See also: Laura Bush Trashes Michelle Obama)
Michelle Obama is scheduled to address five area high schools at an 8,000-seat arena for the 60th anniversary of the case that banned school segregation. Despite the overall feeling being that of excitement, the initial feelings have died down – so much, in fact, that students and parents have drawn up a petition to ban the woman from speaking at the event.
Tina Hernandez, mother of one of the graduating students, expressed her concerns in more detail by noting, “I’m a single mother who has raised him for 18 years by myself. I’ve told him education is the only way out. This is one of the biggest days of their lives. They’ve taken the glory and shine from the children and put on Mrs. Obama. She doesn’t know our kids.”
Hernandez was just one of the many parents sharing the same sentiment during Thursday’s Topeka school board meeting. Topeka school district spokesman Ron Harbaugh tried his best to relay to parents that the logistics are still being worked out on the matter.
Expressing that they still have yet to distinguish ticket limits for families, he further noted that once the plans had been solidified, “We will have a clearer picture of what’s going on.”
Harbaugh even went so far as to suggest that even though they will be placing a priority on the families of graduates, they are in the process of setting up an overflow room where the event will be broadcast live. This solution however, isn’t making parents any happier.
After all, who wants to watch their children, or family member, graduate on a TV screen?
The rumors of limited seating for families on account of the First Lady’s visit has prompted 18-year-old student Taylor Gifford, to go so far as to form a petition asking that the First Lady doesn’t speak at their event. As of right now, that petition holds just over 1,200 signatures.
Gifford noted on account of her petition, “I really would like it to have a peaceful solution, but there is so much misinformation going on.” She states that although she was initially, “freaking out,” the rumors circulating about family not being able to attend has caused room for serious concern.
“People think it’s a great opportunity, but it’s the graduates’ time. They are getting that diploma that they worked so hard for. Families are feeling that they are being cheated out of the loved ones special day,” Gifford concluded.
Other seniors, such as Abbey Rubottom, echoed Gifford’s concerns by saying, “No disrespect for the First Lady, and it’s amazing that she wants to come speak, I just think it doesn’t belong at graduation.” Students do however feel that the First Lady’s appearance is warranted in spirit of the Brown v. Board of Education’s 60th anniversary.
Despite not wanting her at their graduation ceremony, they convey that perhaps the town should hold a separate event in which she could speak at the, “historic site that commemorates the decision,” at another time.
What do you guys think – do parents express a legitimate concern? How would you feel if you were one of the parents of a graduating student? Let us know in a comment below.
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