I don’t know about you, but when I was an 8th grader (13 to 14 years old), I listened to what people around me said. The adults I trusted, my parents, grandparents, teachers, were the ones I listened to. They were older and smarter than me, they had to be right…right?
Speaker Paul Ryan isn’t well liked right now by either side of the political aisle. And 8th graders seem to be his biggest critics.
The students from South Orange Middle School in South Orange, New Jersey were on a school trip to Washington D.C. and were given a very special opportunity: a photo-op with Speaker Ryan. Now, as a kid, you would think that would be exciting.
And you would be wrong.
Close to 100 students refused to take their picture with the Speaker and instead sat in the parking lot across the street. Ryan took a photo with the remaining students and posted it on his Instagram.
The students who sat back had some harsh words for Ryan.
Matthew Malespina told his local newspaper: “I can’t take a picture with someone who supports a budget that would destroy public education and would leave 23 million people without healthcare.”
Louisa Maynard-Parisi had problems with Ryan’s connection to President Trump: “I didn’t want to be in [the picture] because he believes in most of what Trump believes in.”
Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds more like a parent talking rather than a 14-year-old.
Some parents were torn over the sit-out.
Parents were torn about whether the kids should have sat out on the photo. Ryan was a “legitimately elected official,” one parent wrote, and they would have been offended if conservative students had done the same thing to President Obama.
Oh, but guess which mother is super proud of her son…Matthew Malespina’s mom.
“I am proud of my son and all the other students who chose to respectfully not to participate in the photograph with Speaker Ryan,” she said.
It sounds like we were right. Those are the parents talking, and kids just following along.