Senator’s Fremont High Graduation address draws strong reaction

Published: May. 17, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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Senator Ben Sasse’s remarks that were included in a virtual graduation celebration for Fremont High School drew some strong reaction from community members and one school board member.

The Senator, who is a 1990 graduate of Fremont High School joked about fitness, gym teachers, psychologists, murder hornets, and blamed China for the Coronavirus pandemic before encouraging graduates to show “grit, resilience, and determination” as they head into adulthood during his 7-minute remarks.

The graduation video had been viewed more than 90,000 times on Youtube by Sunday afternoon.

One Fremont School board member, Michael Petersen, called for an apology in a Facebook post.

First of all congratulations to the Fremont High Class of 2020!!! Your leadership in turbulent times with the flooding...

Posted by Michael Petersen Fremont School Board Member on Saturday, May 16, 2020

A spokesman for Sasse responded to criticism in statement to the Omaha World-Herald. “Like he said in the video greeting, Ben’s proud of each of the graduates — and he believes their generation is tough enough to help lead us through the bumpy economic times ahead. It’s ridiculous that some politically addicted folks are complaining about Ben calling out China in a joke. He’s said this for months, because it’s true: The Chinese Communist Party’s coronavirus coverup wasted time that could have contained the spread — those lies cost innocent lives in China and around the world. Pretending graduates are too fragile to hear the truth is silly,"