The upset Topeka parents had a point about problems to be caused by having first lady Michelle Obama speak at a combined high school graduation ceremony on May 17, including the limited seating for graduates’ families. At the very least, Topeka district officials didn’t think through the invitation before extending it. And the revised plan for Obama to speak a day earlier at a “senior recognition day” ceremony seems like an improvement. Too bad the whole incident ended up making Kansas look bad – again, after rough national headlines this year about anti-gay, anti-teacher and pro-spanking legislation at the Statehouse and the recent shootings at Jewish facilities in Overland Park. In any case, Topeka and Kansas should prepare to give the first lady a warm welcome as she celebrates the graduates and marks the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision that desegregated the nation’s schools.
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