Kelly Holstine is a left-wing Minnesota teacher who was honored as the state’s Teacher of the Year for 2018-19, and made headlines locally by refusing to attend the White House ceremony at which the states’ honorees were recognized last spring. Shockingly, she doesn’t like President Trump, and didn’t want to be anywhere near him. This is how she describes herself on Twitter (after telling us that her pronouns are “she/her”):
Director of Educational Equity at OutFront MN, Previous Alt-Ed Teacher, Animal Rescuer
Fast forward to Monday night’s college football championship game–the one at which President Trump received a thunderous welcome from the crowd. During the pregame ceremony, the states’ Teachers of the Year were again honored by being on the playing field along with the President and First Lady, and many others. This time, Holstine thought it worth her while to show up. Why? So she could take a knee, like Colin Kaepernick:
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
I’m not sure anyone noticed the kneeling teacher; it may have been the least successful protest of recent times. But eventually Holstine made her way into the Washington Post and a few other outlets. Tom Steward has the story; this is from The Hill:
The educator said she found out that Trump would be on the field with the teachers ahead of her decision to kneel. She said the honorees were told they could place their hand on their heart, as is traditionally done, or not during the national anthem.
The guidance made Holstine start to consider if standing without placing her hand on her heart “was enough” to support the people she wanted to support. After consulting with other educators and her wife, Holstine said she decided to kneel.
If someone took a knee in the middle of the Superdome and no one noticed, did it matter? Only in the media.