Revelers and onlookers braved the snow Saturday to celebrate a Lunar New Year parade on Argyle Street in the Uptown neighborhood.
Amid the colorful floats, there was a contingent of marchers from Peirce Elementary School, 1423 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
If spectators looked closely, they saw many of the Peirce marchers waving signs and wearing pins in support of Joe Dunne, a candidate for 48th Ward alderperson running to replace the retiring Ald. Harry Osterman.
Peirce parent Trevor Wills said he was upset with what he saw.
“It was disgusting, gross, tasteless ... it didn’t feel like the school community, it felt like the campaign,” Wills said.
The display also caught the attention of Peirce’s principal, who sent a notice to parents Monday morning that read, “It has been brought to my attention that during the parade, supporters of an Aldermanic candidate walked alongside of the Peirce group, carrying signs with this candidates name, creating an appearance that Peirce School supports this candidate. Please know that Peirce School does not endorse any candidate for public office and I am in touch with district officials to determine next steps.”
Dunne himself emailed an apology to concerned parents.
“As it was not my intent for my campaign to co-opt Peirce’s participation in the Lunar New Year parade. I have a lot of enthusiastic supporters and unfortunately in the moment enthusiasm overtook better judgement. I will make sure we do better moving forward,” Dunne wrote.
The parade concerns come after the fallout surrounding Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s campaign sending emails to CPS teachers asking for student campaign volunteers.
City, CPS and ethics watchdogs are investigating that email blast, which appears to violate CPS ethics codes around political activity.
It’s unclear whether any ethics code was violated in this case.
“Especially what’s happened in the city already, I think more conversations need to be had about this, and moving forward what needs to happen,” said Wills.
Also running in the 48th Ward aldermanic race are Larry Svabek, Nick Ward, Andre Peloquin, Brian J. Haag, Isaac Freilich Jones, Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, Roxanne Volkmann, Andy Peters and Nassir Faulkner.