Sixth-grader gives Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz the middle finger in viral photo

Jim Little, jwlittle@pnj.com
Published 9:21 a.m. CT May 2, 2018 | Updated 1:35 p.m. CT May 2, 2018

A selfie photo from Rep. Matt Gaetz’s visit to a Crestview middle school has gone viral after one student was captured in the background presenting the congressman with a one-fingered salute.

The photo shows Gaetz posing in front of dozens of students at Shoal River Middle School waving, “dabbing” and one girl in the front row holding an extended middle finger.

Gaetz posted the photo to his Facebook page during his visit to the middle school and commented that he had not thoroughly reviewed the photo.

“I’ll confess that going from ‘selfie’ to ‘posted’ doesn’t include a rigorous content review,” Gaetz wrote in the comments section of the photo.

One woman claiming to be the mother of the student wrote that she would “be dealing with her at home tonight.”

“Political views aside, this is completely unacceptable,” the woman wrote. “Mr. Gaetz, I apologize on behalf of my daughter. I am very sorry this occurred.”

Gaetz responded to the comment.

“Her congressman has also had an occasional lapse of judgment as a middle schooler,” Gaetz wrote. “Teaching moments like this are a good thing. I had a lovely time with the students.”

Another commenter wrote that the photo shows that the kids hated Gaetz, to which Gaetz had a response:

“Hated by middle schoolers … reminds me of middle school,” Gaetz wrote.

Jim Little can be reached at jwlittle@pnj.com or 850-208-9827.

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