8th Graders Praised for Refusing Photo with Paul Ryan

Never mind that whole "respect your elders" thing.

On Friday, a group of 8th graders from South Orange Middle School in New Jersey got a chance to meet and take a group picture with House Speaker Paul Ryan while on a trip to Washington, D.C. However, half of them refused to be in the picture, to the delight of liberal outlet Mashable.

About 100 students lined up to greet Ryan and pose for the picture, but 100 others sat in a parking lot across the street in protest.

“It’s not just a picture,” said student Matthew Malespina who refused the photo-op. “It’s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country.”

“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,” Matthew told his local paper. Gee, that didn't sound rehearsed at all.

The boy’s mother supported her son’s decision.

“I think the point was, ‘I don’t want to be associated with him and his policies and, you know, what he stands for,’” Elissa Malespina said.

“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 added. That's respectful?

But other parents thought the kids were being disrespectful to an elected leader. 

One student who was in the picture, Miles Handelman, 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.”

The speaker posted a picture on his Instagram. It is reported that he was unaware half of the students were protesting:



Got that #FridayFeeling

A post shared by Speaker Paul Ryan (@speakerryan) on


“Middle school #resistance is the best kind of resistance there is,” Mashable praised in its coverage of the story. Sure, because middle schoolers are so knowledgeable about politics and life.

Other leftists were proud, too:


In an ABC 7 report, the community the school is from in New Jersey is considered “progressive, upper middle class.” What a shock. Their coverage is below: