Hempfield supervisor ‘upset’ at changes to school homecoming parade
A Hempfield supervisor seeking re-election became “upset” after receiving a letter stating political candidates and signs are no longer permitted in the Hempfield Area School District’s homecoming parade, Superintendent Tammy Wolicki said.
Doug Weimer, a township supervisor, said he was “surprised by the change in direction by the school district” after reading a letter sent to township Manager Jason Winters, and provided to the Tribune-Review by Weimer, that reads: “The District’s policy committee recently revised Policy 913.2: Advertising Sponsorship. The policy includes language that prohibits the promotion of any political organization or party on school property and/or events.
“The parade, while not solely on school property, is a school-sanctioned event. For this reason, the Homecoming Parade will include only district-sponsored clubs, organizations and teams.”
The school board this month voted to update the policy to include the parade, which will be held Friday, Oct. 4. Past parades included Weimer and other political candidates, Wolicki said.
School board member Mike Alfery, who was appointed in July to fill a vacancy and is running for a full term, on his school board Facebook page posted a message that suggested Weimer “contacted the school and made what could be considered as threats to not allow Route 136 to be used as a parade route. Even went as far as saying the township fire companies wouldn’t be allowed to participate.”
“I never directly said that,” Weimer told the Tribune-Review.
However, Weimer said that when he first read the letter, he took it to mean Hempfield’s volunteer fire stations also would no longer be permitted in the parade.
“I was certainly shocked by that because I know how much the children love to see the fire trucks rolling up the road with their lights on and blowing their horns,” Weimer said.
Winters, who said he spoke with Wolicki on Wednesday, confirmed the fire stations are still permitted in the parade, noting the changes were focused on political aspects.
Weimer added that township supervisors previously approved the parade for Route 136, but said, “Maybe if the school district is scaling back their parade then perhaps they don’t need the township to close the road for them.”
Alfery and school board president Sonya Brajdic said the parade is about past and present Hempfield students.
“I just know it is a school district policy that we do not have political venues in the homecoming parade,” Brajdic said. “It is just about the kids that night, and that’s what it should be about.”
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .