During a recent field trip to the nation’s capital, a group of nearly 100 middle school students from New Jersey refused to take a picture with Paul Ryan. Practically half of the South Orange Middle School students on the trip decided to opt out of the meeting with the speaker of the house and simply waited in a nearby parking lot.
In an interview with ABC7 in New York, one of the students protesting the meet and greet explained his reasoning. Matthew Malespina said, “It’s not just a picture. It’s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country.”
Before taking his strong stance, the student had texted his mother to let her know. Elissa Malespina told her son to tell the school that he would rather not meet Ryan. She added, “The point was, ‘I don’t want to be associated with him, and his policies and what he stands for.'”
Naturally, not every student was on board, as the other half of the class did end up meeting Ryan. Miles Handelman, a student that met Ryan, said, “I thought it would be very cool just seeing the man who is the third most powerful man in our country. It would be cool, even if you disagree with him.”
Following the whole ordeal, Ryan shared a candid picture from his meeting with the remaining students who decided to attend. His caption simply reads, “Got that #FridayFeeling.”