Current Events

Watch this teacher refuse to accept an award from Paul Ryan in the middle of a ceremony

During a ceremony last week in Wisconsin, a teacher outright refused to accept a reward from Rep. Paul Ryan, saying he couldn’t do so “in good conscience” because of the GOP congressman’s politics.

Al Levie, a high school social studies teacher, was one of three recipients of a Martin Luther King Jr. humanitarian award during a celebration honoring the late civil rights leader. Ryan, who represents the district, attended the ceremony and presented congressional recognitions to each award winner.

According to a report from the Kenosha News:

After Ryan spoke, Levie criticized the congressman’s policies before being walked off the stage. Levie had earlier stated that he would like to see collective bargaining restored in Wisconsin, fair immigration reform and a fair tax system among other suggestions.

In a video of the ceremony, Ryan is seen preparing to hand the award to Levie, who backs away and instead turns to speak to the audience. His words aren’t audible, but according to the video’s captions he said, “I can’t in good conscience accept this award, as a humanitarian, Paul Ryan stands for everything I don’t believe in.”

“I would not accept the award from Paul Ryan because Paul Ryan is a lackey for the 1 percent,” Levie later says in the video.

“Paul Ryan had no business at a Martin Luther King event, it’s totally hypocritical. On the one hand he votes to slash health care, while on the other hand, King dedicated his life and he died for it — for people to have adequate healthcare, to have adequate jobs.”


Facebook Comment


  1. Avatar

    Fano Boss

    January 19, 2014 at 2:47 am

    The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr DIED for Affordable Healthcare ?

  2. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 4:31 am

    I wish he’d gone up to the podium and addressed the audience using the microphone.

  3. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 4:36 am

    good for the if he can get his friends together and vote that jerkoff out of office

  4. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 7:25 am

    Good for you! Call them on their hypocrisy, don’t play their ‘photo op’ game! Make the party of ‘responsibility’ take responsibility for their actions!

  5. Avatar

    Lenna S. Hanna-O'Neill

    January 19, 2014 at 10:13 am


  6. Avatar

    Donald Fournier

    January 19, 2014 at 11:42 am

    That’s Bulls Hit. She wasn’t making any kind of joke or tongue in cheek statement.

  7. Avatar

    Riccardo Cabeza

    January 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    So, republican Paul Ryan tried to sponge off MLK’s legacy and got insulted. Bravo. When cancervatives learn they will never win a fair election again, they will be driven from office. Kudos to Al Levie for shaming a teabag. It’s every Americans duty to ridicule republicans everywhere

  8. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    A Man of Honor . A teacher worth his weight in Gold .

  9. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Good for him

  10. Avatar

    Tom House

    January 19, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I applaud Mr. Levie. There is no end to the hypocrisy and the mindless by rote statements so many of our elected officials and Paul Ryan is high on that list. Kudos to someone who will stand up and call them out for what they are and what they truly represent and in this case that is not the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr.

  11. Avatar

    River Rat

    January 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Applause! Applause for Al Levie. We need more politicians like him. 😉

  12. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    We need more people like Levie to speak out against the horrendous examples of human beings that the Republicans represent! They do not act in the interest of anyone except the wealthiest of American society.

  13. Avatar

    J. Alejandro Amoros

    January 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Paul Ryan is a lackey for the 1 percent?? Which one? The 1% Republican or the 1% Democrat?

  14. Avatar

    Terri M Robbins

    January 19, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    Bravo, Sir! Bravo!

  15. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Sad thing is that most people jump on republicans or democrats! Politicians are all liars doesn’t matter what side they are on!when was the last time a politician did something positive for this country?

  16. Avatar

    Bill Des Jardin

    January 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    All of them, Katie.

  17. Avatar

    Gary Myrick

    January 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Yes, That is certainly an integral part of what he died for.

  18. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Perhaps u should consider King ‘s overall message. Equality under the law means all citizens have equal access to all human rights. That would include healthcare.

  19. Avatar


    January 19, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I applaud this teacher. Nice to hear of a citizen with the guts to stand up for their beliefs in the face of their oppressor. I agree with the teacher. Ryan has no place at an MLK event as a speaker or presenter.

  20. Avatar

    Charles O. Hendrix Jr.

    January 19, 2014 at 11:42 pm

    If you have to ask such an absurd question and do not already know what was implied in the posting, you need not respond. You are apparently clueless.

  21. Pingback: Watch This Teacher REFUSE to Accept Award from Lyin’ Paul Ryan on ‘Principle’ at MLK Ceremony (Video) | Americans Against the Tea Party

  22. Avatar

    David Kyle

    January 20, 2014 at 1:24 am

    “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

    ― Martin Luther King Jr.

  23. Pingback: Watch: Teacher refuses to accept an award from Paul Ryan in the middle of a ceremony | FreakOutNation

  24. Avatar


    January 20, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Regardless of what the politics of the teacher were, he shouldn’t have come if he hadn’t planned to take the award. Him acting this way doesn’t further his agenda. It makes him look like a kook. on top of that, there is a good chance that he might be squeezed out of his job (for unrelated reasons – mark my words). The school board superintendent will find a way to shoo him out within the next school year (for embarrassing the district).

    Moral of the story? You have the right to free speech. You also have the responsibility to the fallout contained therein. Just like yelling fire in a crowded theatre, there will be a price to pay.

  25. Avatar


    January 20, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Perfect. This is the kind of teacher every kid needs to have. Ryan has no place at any celebration of MLK.

  26. Avatar


    January 20, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    To break it down for you, he dedicated his LIFE and in so doing was killed by someone who doesn’t believe in equal opportunity or access (including health care if that is confusing to you)…like Paul Ryan demonstrates.

  27. Avatar

    Matthew G.

    January 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

    I think this was pretty boorish behavior… Paul Ryan was there as a duly elected representative in an honorary role; not an official one, nor a political one. Moreover, he was simply handing the man an award during a ceremony meant to honor MLK Jr. He wasn’t there to politicize or push an agenda. This teacher made it political, and drew attention to Ryan rather than what this award was supposed to stand for. It’s not brave; it’s grandstanding.

  28. Avatar


    January 21, 2014 at 1:06 am

    If you want to talk about grandstanding, then I will cite the Senator disingenuously attaching himself to a ceremony honoring a man who was diametrically opposed to everything the Senator stands for. I would liken it to a Muslim cleric handing out awards at a ceremony celebrating women’s rights. Paul Ryan has shown nothing but contempt and hostility toward a large segment of people, especially the people in that room! He has voted to gut education and healthcare. All people have a responsibility to question their elected leadership, and it’s not up to you as to where and when it’s appropriate to do that. And yes, it was brave. This teacher may be risking his job and also could likely face harassment from others for doing what he did. Bravo!

  29. Avatar


    January 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

    He died for equal rights, which could well include affordable health care!!

  30. Avatar

    Oliver Nathaniel Goodloe

    January 21, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    I don’t see the teacher as a kook!! There’s key phrases you really have to watch for….all that working class Americans want is healthcare where no one rich or poor has to pay, and jobs in which they can make enough money to afford some of the things that the rich have already!!! If you live in this country, and it’s people like us that’s making you rich, then you shouldn’t have a problem with it!!!! The Tea Party? What are you protesting? Democracy? I Heard A Lot Of Very Racial Slurs, And Statements Coming From This Group!!! I Was Born During The Time That King And Others Was Crossing The Finishline, And Even When They Did, They Heard These Same Slurs That The Tea Party Is Presently Saying!!! He Had Every Right To Do That To A Very Known Racist!!!!

  31. Avatar

    Michael Weiss

    January 21, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    depends on who you ask. Your opinion is not the majority though.

  32. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    LIke they vote Paul Walker out of office and got their fannies kicked? Good luck this November..I live in Michigan and we have had with the far left and their phony environmental policies chasing factories out of our state.

  33. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    You must mean the 1% in Hollywood where actresses are complaining that their male counterparts make twice what they do for the same job..So much for standing up what they believe in eh?

  34. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    your full of it. Ryan and his type are Nazi facist trying to destroy this country and we all need to stand up to them and put them in their place. Ryan sold out American to his puppet masters, if you can,t see that I feel sorry for you.Ryan is the worse of the worse. do some home work.A so Christian that loves Ayn Rand?

  35. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Bravo..A teacher w conviction!!!!!!!!!

  36. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    That’s just a cop out. We know who is doing the obstructing here. We know which party is working against the best interests of the American people. Obama won two terms to carryout the platform he ran on. The republicans couldn’t care less what the majority want they only care about their bank accounts and getting re-elected. I understand some people wanting to be “fair” but you can’t just stand around and watch people go hungry and wind up homeless and not blame the people who are refusing to do anything about it.

  37. Avatar

    Ed Botsko

    January 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm

    Kudos to the teacher… We need others to stand up to the likes of Ryan who are trying to destroy our middle class..

  38. Avatar

    Ed Botsko

    January 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    Of course he did… Affordable healthcare was always one of his goals..He was killed by bigots who attempted to silence him.

  39. Avatar

    Jim Duffey

    January 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    More brave Americans like this gentleman will come forth in the months and years ahead. Speaking out fearlessly from the highest points will increasingly provide an excellent way of shining light on phonies like Ryan!

  40. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Read well. The teacher was a HE and not a SHE as understood by you. You are incapable of differentiating a joke/a tongue-in-cheek expression from FACTS. The teacher stated “FACTS” and lyin’Ryan is so full of it. The lyinRyan is just doing all this for a photo op for, mid term election is around the corner and trying to pretend to be a caring soul to take him to 2016. NO THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

  41. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    They don’t need a way to shoo him out, they can just fire him. Teachers lose their jobs these days for asking for a raise or not calling their students “readers”, and they have no recourse at all. There is no longer any such thing as due process for teachers to keep their jobs.

  42. Avatar

    Herman Steven

    January 24, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    Mr. Levie accepted the humanitarian award that he earned. Ryan was there to sponge off the event and add his “congressional recognition” to the award. Hollow pandering, as usual.

  43. Avatar


    January 24, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    What part of the term ‘EQUALITY’ don’t you understand?

  44. Avatar

    Susan O'C

    February 22, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1966. Any further questions?

  45. Avatar


    June 19, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a good portion of people will miss your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  46. Avatar

    garageband for mac

    June 21, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Hi! This is my very first comment on this site so I really wanted to give a quick shout out and tell you I genuinely enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other sites which deal with garageband for ipad? I am likewise pretty fascinated by that thing! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To Top