Kelly Holstine, who gained Minnesota’s 2019 “Instructor of the Yr” award, knelt in protest whereas being honored together with different lecturers on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
“I simply determined that it felt like the best factor to do, to have a really respectful protest,” Holstine instructed The Hill on Wednesday.
Holstine mentioned she was motivated to kneel throughout the anthem for communities which might be supposedly oppressed below the Trump administration.
“I believe the present surroundings that’s being created and has been created in his tenure undoubtedly provides to my emotions of desirous to help people who will not be being supported,” she mentioned, including: “I actually really feel like our nation just isn’t serving the wants of all its inhabitants … so many people proper now that aren’t being given the respect and the rights that they deserve.”
In a tweet recounting the occasion, Holstine quoted Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., writing: “Nobody is free till we’re all free.”
Holstine mentioned she had consulted with different lecturers beforehand and determined that it was not sufficient to easily not place her hand on her coronary heart throughout the Nationwide Anthem.
She mentioned that others who realized what she was doing had been “very supportive.”
“Not everyone is given the chance to have a voice, and I can take a small second, a respectful second of protest, and train my First Modification rights, and rise up for my college students and for susceptible adults and for people who find themselves not handled in the way in which that they need to be,” she mentioned. “It looks like my duty to do this.”
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked protests in 2016 by kneeling throughout the nationwide anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Trump referred to as on NFL homeowners to fireside any participant who failed to face throughout the nationwide anthem.
Holstine was an English trainer at a Shakopee different highschool when she was named Minnesota’s Instructor of the Yr for 2018-19. She is now not a public college trainer.
Final yr, she and one other award-winning trainer, Jessica Duenas of Kentucky, skipped a White Home ceremony for the nationwide trainer of the yr to protest the Trump administration’s education policies.
The Related Press contributed to this report.