**Written by Doug Powers
According to some media reports, last Friday about 100 8th graders refused to take a picture with Speaker Paul Ryan during their visit to DC. Some buses were still en route at the time and the reports are based on student accounts, so who knows what the actual number is. Odds that the kids who did snub Ryan did so unprompted by anybody else: Low:
Elissa Malespina, a school librarian who is also the parent of a SOMS eighth grader, reported that her son was among the students who declined to pose with Ryan for a photo.
“I am so proud of my son,” Malespina wrote on Facebook.
The kids gave reasoned opinions for their choice — and said they were not fueled by partisanship.
I have little doubt these students were not fueled by partisanship. It sounds more like they might have been fueled by some parents/teachers and DNC talking points memos, because that’s exactly what this sounds like:
“I think that taking the picture represents that you agree with the same political views and I don’t agree with his political views so I chose not to be in it,” said Wendy Weeks, an 8th grade SOMS student.
“I can’t take a picture with someone who supports a budget that would destroy public education and would leave 23 million people without healthcare,” said 8th grade SOMS student Matthew Malespina.
“I didn’t want to be in [the picture] because he believes in most of what Trump believes in,” said another SOMS 8th grader, Louisa Maynard-Parisi.
Matthew’s mom said she supported her son’s decision. “I am proud of my son and all the other students who chose to respectfully not to participate in the photograph with Speaker Ryan,” wrote Elissa Malespina, in a message to Village Green. “My son does not believe in the policies that Speaker Ryan believes and does not want to be associated in any way with him or his policies. It is his right as a citizen to do so and I commend him and his fellow students for doing so in a respectful way. Listen to the children they get it.”
Bright futures writing DNC press releases (or reading from them as it were) await:
“It’s not just a picture,” student Matthew Malespina told ABC News. “It’s being associated with a person who puts his party before his country.”
When he learned of his school’s impending photo op with Ryan, Malespina texted his mother he’s “just not going to do it.”
“The point was, ‘I don’t want to be associated with him, and his policies and what he stands for,’” Matthew’s mother Elissa Malespina said.
That sounds like it could have come straight from Chuck Schumer. And who knows — maybe it did.
**Written by Doug Powers