This teacher's silent protest of Trump contains a message for all of us.

When Mandy Manning went to the White House to accept the 2018 National Teacher of the Year award, she brought along a message for the president.

Manning, a teacher at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, met with President Trump to receive the prestigious award in the East Room of the White House on May 2.

Her work as an English teacher at the school's Newcomer Center, focuses on helping new refugee and immigrant students get up to speed and integrated into the classroom.


It's noble work, and pretty much the antithesis of what Trump, who has railed against refugees and immigrants, stands for. Yet unlike artists who boycotted the Kennedy Center Honors due to disagreements with his positions, Manning attended the event — and made sure to take advantage of her moment with the president.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Manning was perfectly polite during the ceremony and the brief moments she had to speak with Trump, but her outfit spoke volumes.

Manning wore a number of pins on her dress during the ceremony. Some, like the National Teacher of the Year, National Education Association, and Peace Corps pins, were pretty standard. Others, like her Women's March, rainbow flag, and "trans equality now" pins sent a bold message to an administration that's devoted time to gutting protections for trans students and attacking Title IX.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The most important message, however, was the one she handed Trump: a stack of letters from her students and her local community.

"I just had a very, very brief moment so I made it clear that the students that I teach ... are dedicated and focused," Manning told the Associated Press. "They make the United States the beautiful place that it is."

In a video recorded for the Council of Chief State School Officers, the organization behind the National Teacher of the Year, Manning went into more detail about what she does, why she cares so much for her students, and what she hopes Trump and the rest of America can see in them.

"All of the students who walk through my classroom door have three things in common," she says in the video:

"1) They are just learning English, 2) they have escaped trauma and are building new lives in our nation, and 3) they are determined and focused to be productive citizens of our United States. Most importantly, they succeed."

She wants her students to feel like they are wanted, like they are loved, like they are enough, and like they matter. It's the same basic goal we should have for all students in all schools around the country. In fact, it should be a goal for how we treat anyone, of any age.

People like Manning and her students make America a great place, and we could all learn a thing or two from their example.

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Frito-Lay

Did you know one in five families are unable to provide everyday essentials and food for their children? This summer was also the hungriest on record with one in four children not knowing where their next meal will come from – an increase from one in seven children prior to the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19 continue to be felt around the country and many people struggle to secure basic needs. Unemployment is at an all-time high and an alarming number of families face food insecurity, not only from the increased financial burdens but also because many students and families rely on schools for school meal programs and other daily essentials.

This school year is unlike any other. Frito-Lay knew the critical need to ensure children have enough food and resources to succeed. The company quickly pivoted to expand its partnership with Feed the Children, a leading nonprofit focused on alleviating childhood hunger, to create the "Building the Future Together" program to provide shelf-stable food to supplement more than a quarter-million meals and distribute 500,000 pantry staples, school supplies, snacks, books, hand sanitizer, and personal care items to schools in underserved communities.

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We've heard from U.S. intelligence officials for at least four years that other countries are engaging in disinformation campaigns designed to destabilize the U.S. and interfere with our elections. According to a recent New York Times article, there is ample evidence of Russia attempting to push American voters away from Joe Biden and toward Donald Trump via the Kremlin-backed Internet Research Agency, which has created a network of fake user accounts and a website that billed itself as a "global news organization."

The problem isn't just that such disinformation campaigns exist. It's that they get picked up and shared by real people who don't know they're spreading propaganda from Russian state actors. And it's not just pro-Trump content that comes from these accounts. Some fake accounts push far-left propaganda and disinformation in order to skew perceptions of Biden. Sometimes they even share uplifting content to draw people in, while peppering their feeds with fake news or political propaganda.

Most of us read comments and responses on social media, and many of us engage in discussions as well. But how do we know if what we're reading or who we're engaging with is legitimate? It's become vogue to call people who seem to be pushing a certain agenda a "bot," and sometimes that's accurate. What about the accounts that have a real person behind them—a real person who is being paid to publish and push misinformation, conspiracy theories, or far-left or far-right content?

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$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


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In 2019, the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada instituted a policy that forbids teachers from participating in "partisan political activities" during school hours. The policy states that "any signage that is displayed on District property that is, or becomes, political in nature must be removed or covered."

The new policy is based on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2018 Janus decision that limits public employees' First Amendment protections for speech while performing their official duties.

This new policy caused a bit of confusion with Jennifer Leja, a 7th and 8th-grade teacher in the district. She wondered if, as a bisexual woman, the new policy forbids her from discussing her sexuality.

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Editor's Note: This story will be updated as events are developing.

A grand jury in Jefferson County, Kentucky has formally charged a former Louisville police officer with with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for his conduct in the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor. According to the Washington Post, the jury said Brett Hankison "wantonly and blindly" shot 10 times into the apartment where Taylor was sleeping. Under the current charges, Hankison faces up to 5 years in prison.

In responding to the charges, Kentucky's Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the grand jury ruled the other officers in the incident -- Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove -- acted accordingly. Cameron urged calm in response to the charge, noting that "peaceful protests are your right as an American citizens," and that many people would be "disappointed" both that the other officers were not charged and some offended that Hankison was charged at all. However, saying acts of "revenge" were not warranted, Cameron said his department's own role is to enforce the law: "It isn't the quest for revenge, it's the quest for truth," adding that he hopes to be part of "the healing process."


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