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Student who refused to take photo with Paul Ryan defends his decision in blazing op-ed – ANITH
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Student who refused to take photo with Paul Ryan defends his decision in blazing op-ed

Student who refused to take photo with Paul Ryan defends his decision in blazing op-ed


The leader of the resistance to Paul Ryan is not even old enough to drive yet.

Jordan McCray­-Robinson was one of close to 100 8th grade students from South Orange Middle School who recently refused to participate in a photo-op with House Speaker Paul Ryan in May. 

Now, McCray-Robinson is back resisting Ryan. The young student published an op-ed today for his local newspaper, The Village Green, where he defended in his decision, speaking with more spit, vinegar, and passion than adult pundits.

“I decided I wasn’t going to be used as a publicity stunt,” the student starts. That’s when you know you’re gonna be in for a helluva 8th grade op-ed.

“In Sunday, May 28, in Mr. Ryan’s Instagram comment section, my peers and I were criticized about our reasoning behind not taking the picture. We were called ‘losers,’ ‘stupid’ and ‘brats.’ One man wrote, ‘How did those 8th graders get so brainwashed to understand the politics of today and decide who is villain. I suggest this is the work of the teachers … useful idiots that they are.'”

McCray-Robinson then proceeds to defend himself against the adults who thought it was brave to humiliate middle school kids on social media:

“I am here to tell the nation that although we’re only in the 8th grade, we have our own thoughts and opinions … I decided I didn’t want to take a picture with someone who doesn’t have my best interests in mind. Mr. Ryan and the administration want to cut health care for 23 million people. Am I one of those U.S citizens that will be affected?”

McCray-Robinson didn’t just want to talk about himself though.  To ensure representation for others that he cares about, the young writer also interviewed some of his fellow classmates who are disproportionately affected by the decisions of the Trump administration, including a student of color and an LGBTQ student.

I’m not crying, you’re crying! Stop crying at work!

The whole op-ed is worth a full read, which you can do here

Never grow old, Jordan McCray-Robinson.



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Anith Gopal
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