Trump is snubbing the 2019 Teacher of the Year, despite having plenty of free time on his hands.
The ceremony honoring the 2019 Teacher of the Year took place Monday at the White House.
But noticeably absent from the event were both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, neither of whom attended the ceremony despite having almost nothing on their public schedules for the day.
The only thing on Pence's public schedule was a 12:45 p.m. lunch with Trump. Trump, for his part, had only one more public event on his schedule: a meeting with the Baylor University women's basketball team, which won the women's NCAA Division I national championship.
Going to the ceremony in Trump and Pence's place was Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The event is closed to the press.
The White House refused to comment to CNN about why Trump and Pence were skipping the annual ceremony, which this year honored Rodney Robinson, who has been teaching for 19 years and currently works as an educator at a juvenile detention center in Virginia.
Robinson has been critical of Trump's administration, and Trump is infamous for wanting to avoid anyone who has ever criticized him.
"Today, in the face of a government that assaults minorities, that denies the rights of gays, lesbians and transgendered people; a government that separates asylum seeking families and locks their children in cages, it's not the adults who must stand up to these inhumane acts," Robinson said at a 2018 TED Talk. "It's the children who must lead the way. So rise up, young people, what you do best."
However, Robinson's comments pale in comparison to the 2018 Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, who was vocal about her opposition to Trump and even confronted him about his policies and refused to clap when he entered the room during the ceremony honoring her last year.
When he learned about his award, Robinson said he would attend the ceremony honoring him — unlike some sports teams that have refused to accept invitations to the White House to meet Trump.
"It’s to honor the people who worked for people with little respect for them," Robinson said, referring to slaves who built the White House, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch. "It’s not about Trump."
This year, it's unclear why Trump refused to attend the ceremony, as the White House is not responding to questions about the decision. Maybe he's afraid to face any Americans who are not fawning supporters of his.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.