The 2018 Teacher Of Year Finally Shared The Speech She Couldn't Give To The Press At The White House

"Over the next year, I will be sharing my students' stories and profound insights into our country throughout the nation."

The 2018 National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, used her fifteen minutes in the spotlight to give a voice to refugee and immigrant students. According to The Hill, Manning was denied the opportunity to read her acceptance speech in front of the press during an award ceremony at the White House. 

But in an interview with CNN's Van Jones, the Spokane, Washington teacher, read part of her acceptance speech. 

"Over the next year, I will be sharing my students' stories and profound insights into our country throughout the nation," Manning said. "Like Sultan's, who escaped war in his country, and understands the importance of the United States to be peacemakers."

Manning continued: "I am here for refugee and immigrant students and the students in the Gay-Straight Alliance."

In a silent protest, Manning wore buttons representing the unique identities of her students. She works with students who are LGBT, immigrants, and refugees. 

While at the award ceremony, Manning gave President Trump letters written from her refugee students and community members. 

"I had a photograph with the president and my family. I took advantage of the opportunity and presented him with the letters," she said. "He took them so graciously and thanked me." 

Twitter praised her bravery to speak on the behalf of her students who belong to marginalized groups. 

Manning is the first teacher that many of her students have when they  arrive to the U.S. In her application for the Teacher of the Year award, Manning wrote: 

"In the current political climate, anti-immigrant and anti-refugee rhetoric is rampant. As soon as my students arrive, they are afraid they will have to leave. Most of my students come to the U.S. seeking safety, but they don't always feel safe here. This makes it hard for them to share and learn from others. I must help them understand current events, know their rights, and provide a safe and welcoming environment."

Watch her full speech below. 

This story has been corrected to reflect that Manning was not able to read her speech at the  White House ceremony open to the press.

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