Michelle Obama has made so many media appearances – each of which includes a sycophantic reception – that she appears to believe she will be welcomed by any audience. Students at one Kansas high school, however, recently sent her a different message.
The first lady was slated to speak during the graduation ceremony at USD 501 until graduating seniors realized her inclusion in the event would limit the number of family members and friends allowed to accompany them. Due to requisite security demands, Obama’s appearance would have capped the number of tickets per graduating student to six.
Nearly 2,000 individuals signed a petition opposing her speech due primarily to that legitimate concern.
Though many families considered Obama’s presence at their children’s school to be an honor, a huge number believed it did not warrant the seating limitations it would impose.
“They’ve taken the glory and shine from the children and put on Mrs. Obama,” one concerned mother said. “She doesn’t know our kids.”
One student behind the petition explained that graduation is about the achievement of students, not the aggrandizement of a political figure.
“People think it’s a great opportunity,” said Taylor Gifford, “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.”
Obama’s speech, which is expected to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, will instead be included as part of “Senior Recognition Day,” the day prior to graduation.
“Once we learned about the concerns of some students,” a spokesperson for Obama said in a statement, “we were eager to find a solution that enabled all of the students and their families to celebrate the special day.”
This development proves that students are not only interested in keeping Michelle Obama out of their school’s cafeteria.