First Lady changes plans after controversy over high school graduation address
April 24th, 2014
01:50 PM ET
8 months 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. Silence DoGood

    @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.
    ------–
    Yeah, calling attention for one day, to Brown v. Board of Education, barring school segregation is a horrible message. (sarcasm)
    Maybe you like segregation, I don't know.
    Can I get your take Creationist extremists removing science pages that might be used every day and not just at graduation?

    April 24, 2014 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "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."

    I agree. It was a non-story to begin with.

    Poor GOPerville. CNN hasn't been as accommodating to them as is the usual norm.

    April 24, 2014 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. Tony D

    ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.
    Mrs. Obama brings a security detail; she has no control over how many press choose to attend.
    -–

    What total BS. Of course she can control what press is there. They do it all the time. The press has coimplained repeatedly about being excluded from events. And ne would hope the security detail isn't sitting next to each and every familiy member. They would be surrounding her.

    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.
    --

    No, she did not accomodate the request to not interfere with the number of familiy allotted seats. She made alternate arrangements and she will not use the commencement to give her political speech.

    Why do the Obamas have to use kids and schools for their political propaganda? They are essentially hostages, props for them. Why can't they hold open public events so they can see what the country truly thinks of their views?

    April 24, 2014 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. smith

    @Lynda- I liked your use of the word "fodder" on the previous post. Always one of my favs. :)

    April 24, 2014 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  5. truedat

    maybe is she didnt bring 100 people that cost millions, then her and the worst president in history could attend more things.

    April 24, 2014 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. 1Joyce

    Not a fan of the First Lady, but I was happy to hear they found another venue for her to address.

    April 24, 2014 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Donna

    Why would seating be more limited? To accomodate all of the media and press? How about some facts???
    --------------------------–
    "How about some facts???" Good question. Since it's your side complaining, you aren't getting any facts, rhyme, or reason.

    April 24, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. just asking

    Silence DoGood
    Yeah, calling attention for one day, to Brown v. Board of Education, barring school segregation is a horrible message. (sarcasm)
    ----

    but what does any of this have to do with senior recogntion day??? why doesn't she find an appropriate political venue to bring up the racial topic of the distant past? why take the spotlight away from the seniors and their accomplishments. or she goin gto get up there and say they didn't do it, it was because of others?

    April 24, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Paying Through the Nose and other places as well

    How many millions is this Obama political event going to cost me? Should we call the Chinese and see if there is any more room on the credit card?

    April 24, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Fred MacMurry

    @truedat
    maybe is she didnt bring 100 people that cost millions, then her and the worst president in history could attend more things.

    That's the best you can come up with? Nice try Biff.

    April 24, 2014 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  11. Fred Mertz

    @Paying Through the Nose and other places as well
    How many millions is this Obama political event going to cost me? Should we call the Chinese and see if there is any more room on the credit card?

    Oh Boo Hoo Hoo! Only Republicans can run up massive debt! Boo Hoo!

    April 24, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. beachbug1

    What a pile of hoey! This woman just sucks!

    April 24, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ smith:

    "Lynda- I liked your use of the word "fodder" on the previous post. Always one of my favs. :) "

    Hey, thanks for the smile, smith. It's been rather rainy and dreary here in Minnesota of late. I appreciate the sunshine.

    April 24, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. clara

    I was honored if The first lady was speaking in my daughter's graduation.

    April 24, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. Rusty Krus

    @beachbug1
    What a pile of hoey! This woman just sucks!

    Thanks for the classy, insightful well constructed post.

    April 24, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. roncomatic

    to quote a famous Democrat – "What does it matter?"

    April 24, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  17. Dave Dworkin

    Increasingly, CNN reporters are confusing "less" with "fewer." It's not "less family members. If it's quantifiable, "fewer" is the correct word. Think: Less fat, fewer calories.

    April 24, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  18. Brian

    Please correct your story to say that "fewer" family member can attend versus less. "Family members" can be counted and pluralized. So fewer is the correct modifier. For crying out loud...

    April 24, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. J Anthony

    Wow you righty losers just have to go on every scroll and spew your ignorance and hate.. Get a hobby. Jesus and I will pray for your souls. ;)

    April 24, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. ProudDem

    My gosh...the hatred of some of these people is just amazing. She's doing something that First Ladies have always done. Every First Lady in recent years has picked a cause, she picked child nutrition, about as non-controversial as it gets. She's been consistently classy and respectful throughout her public life...and yet something about THIS First Lady inspires pure HATRED. As much as the left criticized GWB, I defy anyone to point to any attack of this level on his wife.

    April 24, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota

    @ smith:

    "Lynda- I liked your use of the word "fodder" on the previous post. Always one of my favs. :) "

    Hey, thanks for the smile, smith.
    -------------------------------------------------
    smith is one of my favorite "rabble-rousers" Lynda.
    He can be cool like that ;)!

    April 24, 2014 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Marshall

    My my, what ugly comments. One would think that huge travesty has been averted.

    April 24, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  23. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    ProudDem

    My gosh...the hatred of some of these people is just amazing.
    -------------------------------------------------
    It's not amazing but it sure is OLD...sooo oooold, and predictable, and booooring, and oooooooold!!!!!

    April 24, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    to quote a famous Democrat – "What does it matter?"
    -------------------------------------------------
    "What difference does it make?".

    April 24, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama:

    "smith is one of my favorite "rabble-rousers" Lynda.
    He can be cool like that ;)!"

    Mine too! He's game without the personal attacks and other nonsense !

    April 24, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
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