Teacher of the Year wears Women’s March, trans rights badges during Trump meeting
The woman named this year’s National Teacher of the Year used buttons pinned to her dress on Wednesday to stage a silent protest.
The Guardian reported that Mandy Manning wore six political badges on her black dress and declined to clap for Trump as he entered the White House ceremony.
According to a pooled report, one pin included a photo of the Women’s March poster, the international protest that was first held the day after Trump’s inauguration. Another badge read “Trans Equality Now.” One other pin was the shape of an apple with a rainbow.
Trump did not appear to notice the badges, the outlet reported.
Manning teaches immigrants and refugees as part of the “Newcomer Center” at Joel E. Ferris High School in Washington state.
According to Manning, Trump said he was excited to read the letters. She also invited him to meet with her students.
She said in her award application that many of her students came to this country seeking safety but they don’t always feel safe.
“My goal is to share my student stories,” Manning told CNN. “But to send a message, to not only immigrants and refugee students but the LGBT community, that they are wanted, they are loved, they are enough and they matter.”
Trump praised Manning and the other award finalists and teachers from each state.
“Her incredible devotion has earned her the adoration — total adoration, actually — and respect of students and colleagues throughout her school district, community and the entire state,” Trump said during the award ceremony.
“Teachers like Mandy play a vital role in the well-being of our children, the strength of our communities and the success of our nation,” he added.
Manning was not the only teacher to vocalize her concerns about the Trump administration’s education policies.
During a roundtable with the 2018 teachers of the year on Monday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos got into a what was nearly a “verbal sparring session” with Oklahoma’s teacher of the year, Jon Hazell.
Hazell confronted DeVos over how her policies are impacting public schools.
In 2017, the teacher of the year wore his LGBTQ pride pin in the Oval Office photo, quickly going viral.