*Normally, an appearance by the first lady of the US would be something to take pride in. But the opposite has occurred for Michelle Obama, whose plans to address a combined graduation ceremony for five area high schools next month has come under fire from parents and students.
According to the Associated Press, protestors say Mrs. Obama’s appearance at an 8,000-seat arena in Topeka, Kans. could limit the number of available seats as well as take the spotlight away from graduating seniors. The first lady’s speech is reportedly tied to the 60th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education outlawing segregation in schools.
“I’m a single mother who has raised him for 18 years by myself,” Tina Hernandez, parent of Topeka High School senior Dauby Knight, said Thursday at a school board meeting. “I’ve told him education is the only way out. This is one of the biggest days of their lives. They’ve taken the glory and shine from the children and put on Mrs. Obama. She doesn’t know our kids.”
Hernandez was among several parents and students who spoke at the school board meeting while urging district officials to rethink their decision to invite Mrs. Obama. Ron Harbaugh, a spokesman for the Topeka school district, told the AP Friday that discussions were under way to work out the logistics and planning for the event, including how many tickets each family would be allotted.
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Her energy is infectious! "Edutainment" is her specialty. When Nikki Strong is on, you know you will get caught up in what's going down (and learn something new too)! From Soft Rock to Hip-Hop, Gospel to World music, Nikki's 15+ year radio career involves working in various capacities and formats. Currently Nikki serves as Producer of the Hang Suite on Saturday nights and the go-to Talent whenever anyone takes vacation time or needs a fun host for a remote event. She also host the news and entertainment show "The Scene" on SiriusXM 141 H.U.R. voices Thursdays at 12:30p. Engaging and informative, this Harlem native loves to have a good time with great music! One of her most fulfilling gigs was giving birth to the "Neo-Soul" channel, The Flow, at XM Satellite Radio where she worked as Music Director. She also served as Music Director and Air Talent for the World Music station XM100 WorldZone and then went on to help build an international Hip Hop music station for WorldSpace Satellite Radio. These last two positions, in particular, enabled Nikki to experience first hand how impactful African American culture, especially Soul, Hip Hop and Jazz have been on music from all over the world. Off air, Nikki loves the theater arts and also works as an actress/dancer/singer and voice over artist. She also teaches dance to youth in the DMV area. Occasionally you may catch her substitute teaching a Ballet, Modern or Jazz class for adults at several of the local dance studios, or flexing her acting chops on stage at one of DC's great theatres. Nikki is proud that DC has been her home for over 10 years. She is excited and honored to be a member of the WHUR family and its rich legacy.