(NYDAILYNEWS) — A high school English teacher who told students "you're not special" nine times during a recent graduation speech says he's shocked by all the attention his tough love talk has received.
David McCullough Jr. of Massachusetts appeared on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday to defend the controversial commencement address, delivered to the class of 2012 at Wellesley High School on June 1.
"I've been teaching high-school kids for 26 years," he said. "And in that time, one comes to see what kids need to be told. These are wonderful kids, and one grows very fond of them and proud of them.
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"That doesn't mean you should indulge them with platitudes or false encouragement," he continued. "I wanted to give them a notion that with their privilege comes responsibility."
McCullough, the son of famed historian David McCullough, made headlines after the blunt speech, in which he told students they've been "pampered, cosseted, doted upon, helmeted, bubble-wrapped."