‘This is who is teaching our kids…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Minnesota’s “teacher of the year,” Kelly Holstine, knelt during the national anthem at the college football national championship game last week because President Donald Trump was in attendance.
Holstine and several other teachers were honored during the football game, and Holstine said she wanted to use the moment as an opportunity to “protest” the Trump administration since the president was also on the field.
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
Holstine also skipped the White House ceremony for the “Teacher of the Year” honorees in early 2019.
“I just decided that it felt like the right thing to do, to have a very respectful protest,” Holstine told The Hill.
Before the football game, the honorees had been told that they could place their hand on their heart during the national anthem, or not. But Holstine said that the moment she found out Trump would be present, she knew she needed to go one step farther.
“I think that the current environment that is being created and has been created in his tenure definitely adds to my feelings of wanting to support individuals who are not being supported,” she said.
“I really feel like our country is not serving the needs of all its inhabitants … so many humans right now that are not being given the respect and the rights that they deserve,” she added.
Holstine said that she had her students in mind while she kneeled.
“Not everybody is given the opportunity to have a voice, and I can take a small moment, a respectful moment of protest, and exercise my First Amendment rights, and stand up for my students and for vulnerable adults and for people who are not treated in the way that they should be,” she said. “It feels like my responsibility to do that.”
But not everyone agreed that Holstine’s “disrespectful” protest is an example worth imitating:
It’s shameful to see a teacher kneel during the National Anthem
There is a time & place for everything & protesting during the tribute to America is disrespectful
To those who do these foolish acts, the Anthem is not about your TDS. God Bless America?? https://t.co/BJlokze3Iu
— Andrew Pollack (@AndrewPollackFL) January 17, 2020
The Minnesota Teacher of the Year chose to kneel during the National Anthem at the College Football National Championship
This is who is teaching our kids
When Minnesota’s leading Congresswoman spews USA hatred — is it any wonder this is what their kids are exposed to?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) January 17, 2020
Such a bore. Does the left ever tire of itself ?https://t.co/azd9rrv7gm
— Jack Kingston (@JackKingston) January 17, 2020