More than half of a class of 8th graders on a class visit to Washington, D.C. refused to pose for a photo with Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan because they disagree with his policies.
Around 100 students from South Orange Middle School stood in a parking lot outside a Congressional office building in protest, as the rest of their classmates met the Speaker of the House, because, according to the group, they felt Ryan put party before country, a local New Jersey ABC affiliate reported.
"I'm just not going to do it," one of the 8th graders texted his mother, also in the "Resistance." "It's being associated with a person who puts his party before his country."
When told that having their photo taken wasn't necessarily a sign of approval of Ryan's political leanings, and that visiting Congress — and meeting with the Speaker of the House — was an honor, another student suggested they simply wanted nothing to do with the Republican leader.
"The point was, 'I don't want to be associated with him, and his policies and what he stands for,'" the student's mother told South Orange media.
The students, of course, are from what local news called a "progressive, upper-middle class community" — definitely not among the New Jersey towns to swing to Donald Trump in the last election, and most certainly among those unlikely to take a fair view of people who disagree with them politically.
Of the 100 or so students who did pose with Ryan, not all of them said they agreed with the Speaker's politics. Most said, however, that they recognized that it was a rare opportunity to meet with someone in Ryan's position.
"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," one student who met with Ryan said.
Ryan was reportedly "unaware" of the students' protest.