UPDATE: New date for first lady's Kansas graduation speech

By: Associated Press / KAKE News - Email
By: Associated Press / KAKE News - Email

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The White House says Michelle Obama is rearranging her plans to address high school students in Topeka, Kan., to address concerns by some students and parents.

She had planned to speak May 17 at a combined graduation ceremony for five high schools. That had raised complaints there wouldn't be room for all the guests. Under the new plan, the first lady will speak at a "senior recognition day" ceremony on May 16 that presumably wouldn't be as crowded.

With the combined ceremony scrapped, the five schools will each hold its own graduation exercises.

Topeka students and parents are pleased with news that first lady Michelle Obama has changed her plans.

Abbey Rubottom says the changes were welcomed and would keep the focus of graduation on the students and not deny families a place in the 8,000-seat arena.

One mother, Tina Hernandez, says she's excited about the new schedule and that Obama will be able to speak to the students without disrupting the traditional practice of separate graduation ceremonies.

Hernandez says the change shows Obama is a mom, too, and understands.

Previous story:

The First Lady is coming to Kansas.

Today, Topeka USD 501 announced that First Lady Michelle Obama will be giving the commencement address to nearly 800 seniors from 5 schools during a joint graduation ceremony next month.

The First Lady will already be in town to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

School officials said she's only delivering three commencement speeches this year, with Topeka being the only high school commencement.

The event will be held at Landon Arena at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka at 1 p.m. on May 17.

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