Mandy Manning, this year’s National Teacher of the Year, said she personally delivered letters written by her refugee and immigrant students to President Trump and invited him to the school to meet her students during a separate meeting outside of Wednesday’s award presentation, telling CNN that she spent most of her acceptance speech discussing her students.
Manning, who teaches immigrants and refugees as part of the “Newcomer Center” at Joel E. Ferris High School in Washington state, told CNN that she wants to “elevate my students’ voices and be that vehicle for them.”
“My goal is to share my student stories,” Manning said. “But to send a message, to not only by immigrants and refugee students but the LGBT community, that they are wanted, they are loved, they are enough and they matter.”
.@AlliemalCNN spoke with the Teacher of the Year Mandy Mannning who was at the White House today. She gave @realDonaldTrump letters from her refugee & immigrant students. More below: pic.twitter.com/e2MwszcLc2
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) May 2, 2018
“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 at the 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.
According to Manning’s award application, her students come from countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sudan.
“Most of my students come to the U.S. seeking safety, but they don’t always feel safe here,” she wrote in her application. “I must help them understand current events, know their rights, and provide a safe and welcoming environment.”
The Hill added:
The Trump administration has moved to limit the number of refugees entering the U.S., citing threats to national security.
Trump has issued travel bans on refugees from several majority-Muslim countries and announced in 2017 that no more than 45,000 refugees would be allowed into the U.S. this year.