David McCullough, Jr.: "You Are Not Special" (Rebroadcast)

David McCullough, Jr.: "You Are Not Special" (Rebroadcast)

You are not special. That was the message behind a controversial commencement speech by a Massachusetts high school teacher that went viral on social media. In a new book, he defends his argument that teenagers are profoundly harmed by the growing pressure to be exceptional.

Two years ago, high school teacher David McCullough, Jr. gave a commencement speech at a school outside of Boston. He thought his audience was the graduating class, but the electronic world was eavesdropping. The 12-minute speech went viral. Suddenly he received emails from around the world and CNN and NBC wanted interviews. McCullough’s speech startled many because he told students they were not special. He criticized well-meaning but micro-managing parents for the intense pressure put on teenagers to excel. He argued that students are so afraid of failure that they miss the opportunity to make and learn from mistakes, and ultimately could miss out on having a fulfilling, happy life.


David McCullough, Jr.

author and highschool English teacher in Massachusetts

Watch The Speech: "You Are Not Special"

Watch David McCullough deliver his speech at the 2012 Wellesley High School Graduation.

This is a rebroadcast. Please view the original broadcast to comment.

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