Home > Uncategorized > Truthdig Article Reminds Us that the FIRST Amendment is Imperiled

Truthdig Article Reminds Us that the FIRST Amendment is Imperiled

May 12, 2018

I just finished reading Truthdig columnist Amy Goodman’s inspiring account of speech given by the 2018 Teacher of the Year, a speech that received little press coverage because the press was not invited to hear it.   As Ms. Goodman reports, Mandy Manning, who teaches math and English to refugee and immigrant students at the Newcomer Center at Joel E. Ferris High School in Spokane, Washington, offered these words to the President and the Cabinet officers in attendance:

“I am honored and humbled to be the vehicle through which my students may tell their stories,” Manning said in the historic East Room, as billionaire Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Labor Secretary Alex Acosta looked on. “I am here for David, a future IT specialist who hopes to one day be able to attend university. I am here for Tamara, who is currently studying pre-med at Eastern Washington University. I am here for Safa and Tara, both future elementary school teachers. I am here for Solomon and Gafishi, who believe that the United States is the place where they have found the center of their lives, where they can have dreams and hopes to be someone.”

Ms. Manning gave her address to a small gathering that did not include any members of the press and was not recorded save a cell phone recording. Why? As Ms. Goodman notes, no explanation was offered:

We don’t know why the press wasn’t allowed to be in the room. Perhaps they didn’t want reporters to see the six buttons Mandy Manning was prominently wearing on her dress. Her buttons included artwork from the 2017 Women’s March, a rainbow flag and the slogan “Trans Equality Now!” One displayed the quote “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”

While Mr. Trump assures gun owners that the Second Amendment is sacrosanct, he effectively conveys to teachers and students across our country that the First Amendment may be imperiled. Thanks to Democracy Now and Truthdig, media outlets that will likely be removed from social media, some Americans will be able to read what the Teacher of the Year stands for.


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