First lady Melania Trump gave a group of students a special treat on Monday during her surprise visit to a Michigan middle school.
She was one of two notable D.C.-based guests at the Orchard Lake Middle School in the Detroit suburbs on Monday, accompanied by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. The kids lined up to pictures and selfies with the first lady, who joined the event to share her anti-bullying message.
She gave the students tips for connecting with and not ostracizing each other. The first lady encouraged the students to “eat lunch with a new friend” and make sure “everybody feels included.”
After speaking to the group, the first lady went table to table and met the students individually, where she was happily mobbed by students eager to take pictures with the former model and current White House resident.
The appearance and remarks helped kick off what the White House is calling a “Week of Inclusion,” as part of National Bullying Prevention Month. “It is our responsibility to take the lead in teaching children the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of kindness, mindfulness, integrity, and leadership,” the first lady said in a statement.
“By our own example, we must teach children to be good stewards of the world they will inherit,” she added in her statement. “We need to remember that they are always watching and listening. It is our responsibility to take the lead in teaching children the values of empathy and communication that are at the core of kindness, mindfulness, integrity, and leadership.”
She received some backlash over her commitment to the anti-bullying cause, which she has championed for months, from those who suggested her husband’s comments exhibit the tendencies of bullies.
Michigan — a state which has often voted for Democrats candidates in recent presidential elections — supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election, in what was considered a big upset for Hillary Clinton.