100 middle school students bravely refuse photo-op with Paul Ryan

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A group of New Jersey middle school students on a field trip to Washington, DC caused a stir when many of them refused to take a picture with Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"It's not just a picture", student Matthew Malespina told ABC News. "I'm just not going to do it", Matthew texted his mother. Matthew says he couldn't go through with it. "It's being associated with a person who puts his party before his country". He is also on record for supporting President Trump's proposed budget, which will cut funding that supports education and the poor, and instead channel that funding towards the USA military budget. She recommended he say, politely, that he'd rather not.

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"I am very proud of him for standing up for what he believes in", posted Malespina's mother, Elissa Malespina on Twitter, in response to the encouraging tweets she has been receiving about her son's decision to opt out of the photo. Other parents see it differently.

Plenty of students, however, felt just fine joining the Speaker of the House for a photograph, even if they didn't agree with his agenda. The students, from a progressive, upper middle class community, were evenly-split. Under normal circumstances, many students would leap for the chance to take a photo with the third most powerful politician in the country. 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. "It would be cool, even if you disagree with him". Students say the speaker left entirely unaware of the eighth-grade dissidents watching from a distance.

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