Some NJ students skip photo op with Speaker Ryan

- Some eighth graders from New Jersey apparently gave Speaker of the House Paul Ryan the brush-off during a trip to Capitol Hill last week. The class was offered the chance for a photo op with Ryan, but half of them said "nope."

Matthew Malespina may only be 13 but this South Orange Middle School eighth grader already has some strong political beliefs.

"One of our teachers showed us the whole... presidential debate a while ago," he said. "It really made me want to get in politics more."

Matthew feels so strongly about healthcare and education policies that he opted out of the group picture with Ryan that was taken during his school trip to Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

"The first thing I said was I do not want to take a picture with him," Matthew said. "I can't take a picture with somebody who has terrible policies."

Half of the students did take a picture with the speaker. Some of them said via Instagram they did it to give Ryan a piece of their mind.

"He also supports a ban on same-sex marriage, which I strongly disagree with," said classmate Alex Klint, who opted to be in the picture. "I was under the impression we'd get to ask him some questions."

A spokesman for Ryan said the speaker always appreciates the opportunity to welcome students to the Capitol.

While the students we spoke to had differing opinions about being in the picture, they both feel the same about the current administration.

"I plan on voting for progressive candidates," Alex said.

So would Matthew take a picture with President Trump?

"Definitely not," Matthew said. "I would never take a picture with him."

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in - includes Advertiser Stories