During a ceremony honoring the 2019 “Teachers of The Year,” one honoree also decided to honor “marginalized and oppressed people.” And the way she did it definitely stood out, ABCNews reports. Especially since she did it while President Donald Trump and wife Melania were in attendance.
Teacher Kelly Holstine, of Minnesota, decided to kneel as the national anthem was played during the NCAA’s football championship game Monday. In a tweet, she noted she wanted to “stand up for marginalized and oppressed people.” She included a photo of herself kneeling.
“Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat’l Anthem because ‘no one is free until we are all free,'” she noted, in reference to Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers. The quote is from a speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Honored as State Teachers of the Year at NCAA Champ FB Game. Given platform to stand up for marginalized and oppressed people. Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat’l Anthem because, “No one is free until we are all free” (MLK). #imwithkap #blacklivesmatter #LGBTQ pic.twitter.com/DimP3pBtBn
— Kelly D. Holstine (she/her) (@kellydholstine) January 14, 2020
This isn’t the first time Holstine, an English and language arts teacher at Tokata Learning Center, has voiced her activism.
She also led a TED talk last year titled “Educators must be more than allies.” During that speech she said teachers must leave their comfort zones and “stand up for all the human beings who are being marginalized or oppressed.”
“Allies are wonderful and we need them, but it is not enough for educators to just be allies,” she noted. “We need them to be advocates too.”
Holstine is also one of two teachers who didn’t attend the White House ceremony in 2019, citing Trump’s divisive language and actions, per The Hill.
“The words and practices and policies of this administration have been filled with a lot of hate toward the LGBTQ community, so I didn’t feel comfortable in that environment.”
According to the Council of Chief State School Officers, Holstine is the first openly gay person to be honored.
You can watch her TED Talk video below: