Sep 26, 2023 - News

Johnston schools re-examines rules after Trump float attends homecoming parade

A jeep with Trump flags on it

The Trump float making its way through the streets of Johnston last Thursday. Photo: Submitted by an Axios reader

Johnston High School homecoming organizers are re-examining their parade rules after a float was entered under four school board candidates promoting former President Trump.

  • The school's student council, which organizes the parade, was unaware of the float's theme prior to the parade, according to school officials.

Why it matters: While school board elections in Iowa are non-partisan, they've become highly political since 2020, as candidates are more overt about their ideologies being reflected in schools.

Driving the news: The Trump float was entered under the names of school board candidates Josh Nelson, Charles Steele, Lori Stiles and Michelle Veach.

Of note: The four candidates are running together and are supported by a local Republican group.

What they're saying: Nelson denied he knew the float was going to be Trump-related and said he participated in the parade last Thursday as a local school board candidate.

  • The addition of the Trump float was "more than I was expecting as well," he tells Axios.
  • The other three candidates did not respond to requests for comment.

Flashback: In 2021, Johnston's school board changed amidst a conservative wave that elected three new members.

  • The district has also landed in the news for several politically charged issues, including board members supporting the creation of a Turning Point USA chapter, a pro-Trump youth group.

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