Teachers, who are unpaid and overworked, are one of the most necessary pieces of our society. An informed, critically-thinking population is vital, and any awards or accolades they are given is well-deserved. That was the purpose of the award ceremony that Trump led on Wednesday, but he failed to notice that the teacher receiving the highest honor was presented by him to a woman who stood in direct protest of his policies and rhetoric.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 3, 2018
Mandy Manning was the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award and Trump, in yet another display of how clueless he is, didn’t even seem to notice her silent protest.
The ‘Teacher of the Year’ was awarded today at the White House, but you wouldn’t have seen her comments. WH didn’t allow coverage of her speech. She tells @AlliemalCNN that she handed @realDonaldTrump letters from her refugee students. Read here: https://t.co/WF68uXX7lH
— Jeff Zeleny (@jeffzeleny) May 3, 2018
According to The Guardian:
‘Manning wore six badges on her black dress. According to a pooled report, they included one with a poster for the Women’s March that followed Trump’s inauguration, one that said “Trans Equality Now” and one in the shape of an apple with a rainbow.
‘The badges also represented the teacher of the year programme, National Education Association and Peace Corps, where she began her teaching career.’
The National Teacher of the Year says she gave Trump a stack of letters from some of the teenage refugees she teaches that talk about what coming to the US has meant to them. https://t.co/jwARJgA4gE
— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) May 2, 2018
Manning has spoken publicly about her support of refugee and immigrant students’ rights and the rights of trans citizens, both groups that Trump has repeatedly targeted for vitriol and hatred. Manning, on the other hand, has fought for the rights of these marginalized populations.
Following the ceremony, during which Trump posed for proud, smiling pictures with Manning, the teacher spoke with the Associated Press about her mission as a teacher and the reasons for her protest during the award presentations.
‘Manning told the Associated Press after the ceremony that she used a private moment with Trump to give him stacks of letters written by her students and members of the Spokane community. She said she told Trump she hoped he would read them, and she encouraged him to visit her school.
‘“I just had a very, very brief moment so I made it clear that the students that I teach … are dedicated and focused,” Manning said in an interview. “They make the United States the beautiful place that it is.”’
A finalist for educator of the year told the president that students are watching him. https://t.co/Y2yiJRrYMn
— HuffPost Politics (@HuffPostPol) May 3, 2018
Trump dug his own hole by catering to the worst tendencies of his supporters, and now he’ll have to live with it throughout his presidency and beyond.
Featured image via Getty/Chip Somodevilla