First Lady changes plans after controversy over high school graduation address
April 24th, 2014
01:50 PM ET
6 years ago

First Lady changes plans after controversy over high school graduation address

(CNN) - Michelle Obama will no longer speak at Kansas high school graduation ceremony after protests that the first lady's presence meant less family members could attend because seating would be more limited.

Instead, the White House announced Thursday, Obama will speak May 16 at a "Senior Recognition Day" - the day before the official graduation.

Mrs. Obama's remarks in Topeka coincide with the celebration of the city's 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, barring school segregation.


Filed under: Michelle Obama
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. love344

    racists..wretches...!

    April 24, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. Donna

    Why would seating be more limited? To accomodate all of the media and press? How about some facts???

    April 24, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  3. Tommy G

    Mrs. Obama's remarks in Topeka coincide with the celebration of the city's 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, barring school segregation
    ---

    Ahhhhh..... so now we know these kids and their graduation were being used for political reasons. Pretty low.

    April 24, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Chris-E...al

    Mrs 0bama is a good lady . She should cut Baraky off till he stops lying and then he would be a lying monk right ?

    April 24, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. devil's advocate

    Better go be used innocuously than be sent yo die in the desert or mountains in the midfles east, to line the pockets of the rich: many of who's bought and paid for politicians you keep voting in.

    April 24, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    Donna
    Why would seating be more limited? To accomodate all of the media and press? How about some facts???

    ++++++++++++++++

    Because of the small size of the venue. Additionally, graduation ceremonies don't usually require that attendees be the guest of a graduate so, regardless of the fact that you hate her, she is extremely popular and therefore her the presence would have packed the house.

    April 24, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    I think that was very thoughtful of the First Lady.

    April 24, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Silence DoGood

    @Malory Archer
    Donna
    Why would seating be more limited? To accomodate all of the media and press? How about some facts???

    ++++++++++++++++

    Because of the small size of the venue. Additionally, graduation ceremonies don't usually require that attendees be the guest of a graduate so, regardless of the fact that you hate her, she is extremely popular and therefore her the presence would have packed the house.
    ----------
    Malory, Malory! You didn't get the memo. When a conservative conspiracy theorist demands facts, they don't want facts.
    Without facts we have a new Conspiracy. Imagine! Maybe the seats will be replaced with trap doors and take people prisoner and be flown by black helicopter to Area 51! Think of the possibilities that you cannot dispute without all those pesky facts.

    April 24, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Sniffit, you're right it's the republicans fault for the ocean to intrude on their property. They (republicans) should be out there hand in hand to hold the water back.

    Yay for deliberately obtuse responses? Who do you think blocks the funding for infrastructure projects that would address the problems creating by encroaching mean high tide lines and erosion of the beaches? Hmmm? Who blocks that funding? Who hates that the construction workers it would employ are unionized and would pay union dues with their paychecks that were funded by the project? Who denies climate change and man's part in it? Who denies the rising oceans and all the rest of the objectively observable, measurable phenomena scientists use to reach the conclusions that so anger them? Who?

    April 24, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Liz

    How gracious, she just change the date and she is still speaking. Much to do about nothing. Now let us see how many more tickets they get. Someone please follow up.

    April 24, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Chris-E...al

    @ Advocating for the devil means to urge the backing of a position or person .

    April 24, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. sonny chapman

    I'm sire these same folks would also voice tge same complaints if it was Laura Bush scheduled to speak.

    April 24, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. sonny chapman

    I'm sure these same folks would also voice the same complaints if it was Laura Bush scheduled to speak.

    April 24, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @Tommy G
    Mrs. Obama's remarks in Topeka coincide with the celebration of the city's 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, barring school segregation
    -

    Ahhhhh..... so now we know these kids and their graduation were being used for political reasons. Pretty low.
    -------
    A political figure appearing at an event to celebrate or reinforce a position or event with which they agree.
    Seriously, this hasn't happened since the last time any politician appeared anywhere in the entire world.

    April 24, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. CALIFORNIA

    Of course everyone in Kansas must be racists now.

    April 24, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  16. Tommy G

    Silence DoGood
    A political figure appearing at an event to celebrate or reinforce a position or event with which they agree.
    Seriously, this hasn't happened since the last time any politician appeared anywhere in the entire world.
    --

    OK, so you have no objection with a sleazy politician hijacking the graduation ceremony of kids in order to use it for their own personal political benefit. Thanks, we get it. I would prefer these slimey politicians go do their own thing someplace else so as not to distract from the truly important matter at hand, the graduation and recognition of these kids.

    April 24, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Tony D

    So what was the guest count originally and what was it because SHE is the speaker? Are those seats going to others, like media, press, dignitaries, etc. Or it it being used for video, TV, etc.? Why can't she just agree to do it without all this stuff? Or is it all about Michelle and the students and their families can just take a back seat at one of the buggest events of their young lives?

    April 24, 2014 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Very gracious of her.
    I would've just cancelled quite frankly.

    April 24, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. Keundra

    The venue probably already has limited seating per graduate which is a downfall to some graduations. I'm pretty sure Mrs. Obama is required to bring a few extra people with her plus the press would have to be there as well. I am glad that she will still get to speak to them. That will be a fantastic graduation present for the class!

    April 24, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Far better solution.

    April 24, 2014 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    " ... after protests that the first lady's presence meant less family members could attend ..."

    Yo, CNN, it's "fewer family members" not "less".

    Sheesh, you guys call yourselves journalists?!?

    April 24, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @CALIFORNIA: "Of course everyone in Kansas must be racists now."

    Um, maybe you should read the article. She decided not to speak out of consideration for the graduates' families and there being enough seating for all of them.

    Sounds to me like the school communicated their concern and the FLOTUS graciously changed her plans, understanding that the graduation is about the students, not her. She rescheduled her speech and all is good.

    NEXT!

    April 24, 2014 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  23. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Tony D: "So what was the guest count originally and what was it because SHE is the speaker? Are those seats going to others, like media, press, dignitaries, etc. Or it it being used for video, TV, etc.? Why can't she just agree to do it without all this stuff? Or is it all about Michelle and the students and their families can just take a back seat at one of the buggest events of their young lives?"

    Mrs. Obama brings a security detail; she has no control over how many press choose to attend. She accommodated the request because she DOES put the students first.

    If you actually read the article, you'd know that. Instead, you choose to take a swipe at the First Lady.

    And you wonder why so many of us read your posts and just roll our eyes ...

    April 24, 2014 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Gurgyl

    --just learn that you are in a Democratic nation–color does not matter, no one cares either in 21st century either.

    April 24, 2014 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  25. Tampa Tim

    Leave it yo a sleazy republican to post their slime against the First Lady when she graciously moved her speech to not interfere with graduation.

    April 24, 2014 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
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