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GLSEN’s Statement on Teacher of the Year
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN’s Statement on National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning
NEW YORK, NY (May 3, 2018) -- During a White House ceremony honoring educators ahead of next week’s National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 7-11), President Trump presented the National Teacher of the Year award to Mandy Manning, an educator at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, WA. Ms. Manning teaches English to new refugee and immigrant students at the school’s Newcomer Center.
As has been reported, Ms. Manning wore several buttons on her lapel during the ceremony showing support for marginalized communities who have been impacted by the Trump Administration’s discriminatory policies and statements by the President. Among the six political statements adorned by Ms. Manning was an image of the Women’s March poster, one that read “Trans Equality Now,” and another depicting an apple with an LGBTQ pride rainbow, showing support for LGBTQ-inclusive schools. Additionally, Ms. Manning brought personal letters written by her students to President Trump, delivering them during a brief private meeting. Among the letters, Ms. Manning said, included refugee students who asked the President to recognize how, as a national leader, his hateful comments can hurt immigrant youth.
“At the White House yesterday, Mandy Manning gave us all a shining example of adult allyship for youth,” said Eliza Byard GLSEN Executive Director. “When given remarkable access to power, Ms. Manning put it right to use for youth. With bold and quiet dignity, she brought her immigrant students’ voices directly to the President and lifted up urgent issues that profoundly shape daily life in our schools nationwide.
“Adult allies - and, crucially, teachers and other school staff - are the bedrock of students’ lives and the first responders at moments of crisis or challenge. These are the adults young people turn to when they are in search of a safe space. Yesterday, Ms. Manning showed trans, LGB, and immigrant students everywhere that they have champions and support and that their voices will reach even the highest office in the land.
“As next week’s National Teacher Appreciation Week approaches, I hope that all of us will join together to thank and honor all of the dedicated teachers, like Ms. Manning, who challenge and empower their students, both in their teaching and by their example.”
The GLSEN National School Climate Survey shows that LGBTQ students in schools with supportive educators are less likely to feel unsafe, less likely to miss school, and have higher GPAs. Learn more at glsen.org/nscs.
GLSEN supports students, educators, and parents in helping thank supportive educators and train more educators in creating safe and inclusive classrooms. Learn more about the importance of supportive educators throughout National Teacher Appreciation Week with GLSEN’s #ThankATeacher campaign at glsen.org/thankateacher.
GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or gender expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of 39 community-led chapters in 26 states brings GLSEN’s expertise to local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for inclusive schools at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research, and educator training programs, please visit www.glsen.org.