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Kansas speech by Michelle Obama draws complaints

Associated Press - April 20, 2014 11:26 am

A Kansas high school senior has launched a petition drive urging school officials to rethink their decision to have first lady Michelle Obama speak at graduation next month in Topeka.

Taylor Gifford started the drive Thursday evening after concerns were raised by students and parents that Obama’s visit would alter graduation plans, including limiting seating for family and friends.

The school district announced Thursday that the first lady would speak at a ceremony May 17, the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision that made school segregation unconstitutional.

Topeka school officials plan to combine graduation ceremonies and hold them in an 8,000-seat arena.

Gifford says Friday she’s excited about Obama speaking, but hopes concerns about the ceremony can be addressed.

City of Salina