Kelly Holstine and Jessica Dueñas boycotted Trump’s event honoring them.
Every year, a National Teacher of the Year is selected from a pool of teachers that are honored from all over the U.S at a White House ceremony typically led by the president.
“I’m a Latina, I’m a first-generation American, and my mother was actually initially an undocumented immigrant. She is now a U.S. citizen,” Dueñas explained. “…and this administration’s treatment of the Latino community has really broken my heart, the way in which family have been separated at the border, and there are students at the border right now who should be in out classrooms.”
Although Betsy DeVos gave the National Teacher of the Year award instead of Trump, he ultimately invited the teachers into the Oval Office for a photo op.
“As an out, gender non-conforming human, I have also faced a great deal of discrimination and prejudice in my life,” Holstine said. “For me, personally, the policies that are being supported and put in place against LGBTQ people causes me to not feeling comfortable in an environment. I’m not gonna go into someone’s home when they hate me for who I am, based on things that just makes me who I am.”
2018’s National Teacher of the Year gave letters to Trump from her immigrant and refugee students.