Regular graduation and attendance back to normal
  • Petitioning USD 501
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

Regular graduation and attendance back to normal

    1. Taylor Rose
    2. Petition by

      Taylor Rose

      Topeka, United States

On Thursday April 17, 2014, USD 501 announced that the First Lady Michelle Obama was going to be speaking at commencement. We were also informed that seats would be limited to around 4 per student for families to come and that all commencements would be combined.

We are honored to have the First Lady speak at commencement and the student body was literally crying and jumping for joy when the news was announced and we are in no way shape or form ungrateful for what the Board has done for us.

There are problems that come with the combining of the commencements. First of all, for most families in 501, money is short and we have spent hundreds of dollars buying graduation announcements that are now incorrect. The district has stated they will not refund this. Topeka High School’s graduation on its own takes approximately two and a half hours. The combining of five high schools will increase that to about six hours. With increased security the total time will be brought up to eight hours. Secondly, families have many people coming from states away taking sick leave to see the graduation. They will come to Topeka, only to find that they cannot be involved. Those with divorced families have to choose which side of the family they want to invite, this doesn’t even include siblings.

This petition will go to the Board to keep graduation times the same and find a way for the speech to be given at all commencements, whether the First Lady is there in person or she has her speech recorded and replayed.

USD 501
Regular graduation and attendance back to normal

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2,500 signatures
    2. Decision-maker USD 501 responds:

      USD 501

      My goal is to have 5,000 signatures by monday! Please sign and share!

    3. Reached 1,500 signatures
    4. Decision-maker USD 501 responds:

      USD 501

      138 in the past couple hours??? Thank you guys so much!

    5. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Claudia DiSalvo NYC, NY
      • 4 months ago

      Without question, this is a terrific opportunity and a memory for which they will always be grateful but this should issue should have been discussed long ago. With the advent of technology and Web technology or Skype, Mrs. Obama's message can be organized and sent out to the 5 schools. Additionally, her speech can be sent out by email to every student so that it will be a keeper along with their yearbooks, prom etc. But we must keep in mind the family constraints (logistical and time) that can cause hardship. Topeka School District, you can have it all and make everyone happy. Get creative and work it out.

    • Connie Clayton ALVIN, TX
      • 4 months ago

      I am from Topeka. Graduation is for the students, and should be about the students.

    • Josephine McClure BUFFALO, NY
      • 4 months ago

      I think the graduation is long when there is only one school and it is unfair to limit the family to four when the family may have more then four.

    • Helen Tucker FARMINGTON, NM
      • 5 months ago

      Graduation is a big deal and a reason to be very proud and supportive of the graduate. I don't think family should be excluded for a speaker. Did the speaker support the graduate in life or even give a rats behind if they were in school? No they didn't. It's more important for the family to be there.

    • eddie hammer PARSONS, KS
      • 6 months ago

      My cousin is graduating and people need to be able to attend.


    Develop your own tools to win.

    Use the API to develop your own organizing tools. Find out how to get started.