This year marks the 60th anniversary of the May 17, 1954 ruling in the case of Oliver Brown versus the Board of Education of Topeka. If you only had this week’s furor of parents in Topeka, Kan. to base your theory, you’d conclude times have not changed and blacks were still unwanted in the schools as was determined in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation was illegal in public schools.
In Topeka, five area high schools have planned a combined graduation in an 8,000-seat arena. Each student will only be allowed five guests if first lady Michelle Obama attends, which leaves them upset. And to add fuel to the senseless fire, parents claim they are afraid the graduation will be overshadowed — which is unsubstantiated — in the wake of this historically significant occasion. Come on people. High school graduations can be some of the most boring affairs on the planet. To be graced with the presence of first lady Michelle Obama is an honor and anyone who says otherwise needs to check their egos at the door.
Taylor Gifford, 18, started an online petition on Thursday to urge the district to reconsider its plans to invite Lady O. She’s secured 1,200 signatures from people expressing concern that Obama’s visit would limit the seating options for family and friends. Really kids!?!? Don’t start the next chapter in your lives on the wrong side of history. Be honored a spotlight will be placed on Topeka for something so significant.