Former first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaWe must mount an all-country response to help our Afghan allies Obamas, Bushes and Clintons joining new effort to help Afghan refugees Bidens, former presidents mark 9/11 anniversary MORE on Friday said the atmosphere of bad behavior from high-profile figures in the public square is making life more difficult for teachers modeling good character.
"Trust me, I know this work isn't easy. Especially right now," Obama said in remarks to teachers at the Kennedy Center. "I know there's a lot of anxiety out there. And there's no denying our kids, what they see on TV, the kind of behavior being modeled in public life, that, yes, impacts their behavior and their character."
"But at times like this, the work that you all are doing is even more urgent, even more critically important. You all have the power to teach kids what it means to go high when others go low," she added to applause.
The former first lady did not mention President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE or Republican politicians by name. But she also this week spoke about America's "anxiety" in a recent interview with Ellen DeGeneres on the host's daytime talk show.
"People are afraid, but then there are people who feel good about the direction of the country, so I mean, that’s what makes this country complicated because it’s made up of so many different people from different backgrounds," Obama told DeGeneres, when asked what advice she'd give people who find the world to be a "scary place right now."
"So, let’s just keep living our lives like that every single day and forget what they’re saying in Washington. That’s not necessarily who we are. We know who we are," she added.
Obama's remarks came at a ceremony for the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), which held its annual awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center on Friday morning.
During the ceremony, Obama gave brief remarks before presenting an award to Kirsten Perry, the 2018 ASCA School Counselor of the Year.