It’s commencement season, America, and you know what that means: Michelle Obama is screwing up a bunch of ordinary people’s lives again.
This year, the first lady has caused hassle and hardship for many families of seniors graduating from Jackson State University, reports local ABC affiliate WAPT-TV.
To accommodate Obama’s schedule, officials at the historically black school in the capital of Mississippi have rescheduled the graduation ceremony from April 30 to April 23. They’ve also moved the time — twice, angry parents say.
“We got notice 30 days out that it’s being changed to April 23,” mom Diana Kimbrough told WAPT-V. “Initially it was going to be 8 a.m., then it changed to 10 a.m., then it changed to 3 p.m.”
The first lady’s decision to speak at the school also may be causing a ticket shortage.
Kimbrough said some 60 relatives wanted to converge on campus — some from places far-flung — to watch her son walk across the graduation stage. That’s no longer possible, she says.
“Now we’re being told that only 15 people out of this party of over 60 adults and multiple children are coming to Jackson for this graduation,” Kimbrough told the ABC affiliate. “We can only get 15 tickets.”
Additionally, Jackson State officials have decided to wrap up the semester a week early to accommodate Obama. It’s not clear if students will lose any class time as a result.
“We are so honored here at Jackson State to have been chosen for this honor, to actually host the first lady of the United States,” school spokeswoman Elayne Anthony told WAPT-TV.
“Everyone is extremely excited about participating,” JSU vice president for research and federal relations Loretta A. Moore added.
School officials say they will provide any extra tickets to this month’s commencement ceremony of a first-come, first-serve basis.
“What we have tried to do is make this commencement as great as we can,” Anthony told the station.
Jackson State’s graduation ceremony will occur at Mississippi Veterans Memorial Stadium, a spacious venue designed for sporting events and concerts.
[dcquiz] In 2014, Obama spoke in Topeka, Kan., at a combined graduation ceremony for the city’s five public high schools. She decided to show up at the last minute, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared separate-but-equal public education unconstitutional. (RELATED: Michelle Obama Wreaks Havoc Across Topeka With Last-Minute Decision To Speak At Graduation)
The combined graduation necessitated a move to the Kansas Expocentre, a 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena, and severely limited the number of family members and friends who could attend the mass commencement. (Presumably, it also made for a staggeringly longer ceremony.)
“This is not fair,” single mother Tina Hernandez told the Topeka Capital-Journal at the time. “My son is more important than Michelle Obama.”