While the White House has been busy making sure it properly acknowledges the spouses of world leaders present in a photo, 100 middle school students from New Jersey were making sure they were not seen in a photo with House Speaker Paul Ryan.
“It’s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country,” student and badass Matthew Malespina told WABC when asked why he chose not to be photographed with the Republican speaker.
Matthew found out the night before the photo that his class’s school trip to the Capitol would include a photo op with Ryan. He texted his mom and said he wasn’t going to participate in the photo. “Say you would rather not,” she told him.
Matthew’s mother, Elissa Malespina, said her son’s point was: “I don’t want to be associated with him, and his policies and what he stands for.”
Around 100 heroes students—approximately half the class—refused to pose with Ryan, so they watched from a parking lot while others met the politician. According to the report, Ryan was not aware of the students who chose not to participate and posted an image on his Instagram with the remaining members of the class.