Teacher Kelly Holstine, of Minnesota, who was honored as one of 2019’s “Teachers of The Year,” decided to honor “marginalized and oppressed people” during the National Anthem at the NCAA Football championship game while Donald Trump was in attendance.
In a tweet, she noted she wanted to “stand up for marginalized and oppressed people.” She included a photo of herself kneeling.
“Like many before, I respectfully kneeled during Nat’l Anthem because ‘no one is free until we are all free,’” she quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in reference to Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.
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 has a history of fighting for justice as an activist.
She led a TED talk last year titled “Educators must be more than allies.” During that speech she said teachers must leave their comfort zones and “stand up for all the human beings who are being marginalized or oppressed.”
“Allies are wonderful and we need them, but it is not enough for educators to just be allies,” she noted. “We need them to be advocates too.”
Holstine is also one of two teachers who didn’t attend the White House ceremony in 2019, citing Trump’s divisive language and actions, according to The Hill.
“The words and practices and policies of this administration have been filled with a lot of hate toward the LGBTQ community, so I didn’t feel comfortable in that environment.”