Candidate talks politics, success with Leo students

For a guy who bled Marist red on the high school football field and wrestling mat, Jerry Joyce felt right at home on Jan. 15 surrounded by the orange interior of Leo High School.

The Chicago mayoral candidate from Beverly was visiting the school on 79th Street to meet with Leo students in its News Literacy program, where journalism intersects with “what is to be believed.”

As an exercise in Sarah Johnson’s class, each of the students has assumed the character of a mayoral candidate. On this day, it seemed more real than the other days as the students hosted an actual candidate who occupies the coveted top spot on the ballot for the upcoming municipal election in February.

Following a quick self-introduction—classroom style—Joyce invited the “Leo NewsMen” to circle their desks and relax. He also sat at a student desk.

The students peppered Joyce with questions, and he volleyed back with “What do you think about that?”

Eager to deliver their own “stump speeches”—in or out of mayoral character—students gave their opinions on marijuana legalization, pension debt, education and rampant crime.

“Well, that’s a great view,” Joyce said to one student. “You must know a policeman.”

“My dad,” the Leo junior proudly replied.

“You’re right,” Joyce said. “We need more police officers and detectives on the streets.”

Read more at Beverly Review.