When the House speaker uploaded the picture on his Instagram page, numerous students flooded the comment section with criticism of the Trump administration's discriminate policies.
"I am so proud of my son and 1/2 the 8th grade at South Orange Middle School", his mother Elissa Malespina wrote on Facebook. "So please tell the whole story". Several students spoke to The Village Green about why they chose to sit out this unique opportunity, many citing differences in political opinions.
Malespina's words highlight reactions from other parents who also supported the students' denying the Ryan photo opp.More news: Bernhard Langer wins Senior PGA for record 9th senior major
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"I don't like to take a picture with somebody that I can't associate with", Matthew, 13, told The Washington Post.
"I was shocked by the number of people who wanted to join me and my friends to not take a picture of him", he told The Post. Louisa Maynard-Parisi said that she sat it out "because [Ryan] believes in most of what Trump believes in", while Sophia Kriaker explained that she didn't want to be in a picture with Ryan because he's "shadowing Trump's ideas". Other parents were not as pleased with the decision, saying it was disrespectful to the speaker's office, while the students who did pose with Ryan shrugged off the protest. "It would be cool, even if you disagree with him", Handelman said.
"I thought it would be interesting to see one of the nation's lawmakers in person even if I strongly disagree with many of his views", 8th-grader Alex Klint said. "[Teachers] knew that a lot of people didn't like Paul Ryan", he said. "My husband has pre-existing conditions that under this new law if my husband or I lose our jobs we might not be able to get health care, and that's scary", she said. Listen to the children they get it.