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Commencement Speaker to High School Grads: “You’re Not Special”

After approximately 12 years of homework, field trips, gym class, and packed lunches, senior graduation is a time for both students and parents to celebrate. This special day marks a turning point for many parents, as they watch their child take their first steps into the real world. But for the parents in attendance at Wellesley High School’s baccalaureate ceremony, their pride was met with a very blunt accusation: you have spoiled and sheltered your children, reports CNN.

PLUS: Raising a Child Who’s Thankful (Not Spoiled)

When the high school English teacher, David McCullough, Jr., took the stage, no one could have predicted the lack of well wishing he was about to unleash. He said, “Yes, you've been pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped. Yes, capable adults with other things to do have held you, kissed you, fed you, wiped your mouth, wiped your bottom, trained you, taught you, tutored you, coached you, listened to you, counseled you, encouraged you, consoled you and encouraged you again. You've been nudged, cajoled, wheedled and implored. You've been feted and fawned over and called sweetie pie. Yes, you have. And, certainly, we've been to your games, your plays, your recitals, your science fairs. Absolutely, smiles ignite when you walk into a room, and hundreds gasp with delight at your every tweet. Why, maybe you've even had your picture in the Townsman! And now you've conquered high school... and, indisputably, here we all have gathered for you, the pride and joy of this fine community, the first to emerge from that magnificent new building...

“But do not get the idea you're anything special. Because you're not.”

You can watch the full video here:

He explained that with this generation’s love of the iPhone, lack of work ethic, and overzealous parents, they are doomed to go through life with a false sense of entitlement. McCullough also mentions a high divorce rate, low employment rate, and a society centered on achievements as evidence of a self centered, young, generation.

PLUS: Mom Arrested for Cheering at Daughter’s Graduation

While the speech was rather unexpected, the controversial comments have received a good amount of praise from critics on Twitter and Facebook. Many are thanking McCullough for telling it like it is, to a generation that has been praised their whole lives for trivial accomplishments. It seems people are fed up with parents for letting their children believe they are the center of the universe, when they are in fact just one of a billion.

Do you think the graduation ceremony was the right place for McCullough’s rant? Are today’s parents ruining their children with encouragement?