Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Parish President Natalie Robottom sponsored “St. John Day at the Capitol” for students from all schools in the Parish. Students in attendance were primarily 8thgraders or members of the Student Council from each school. They were treated to a tour of the Capitol Rotunda, both Senate and House Chambers and had lunch on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion.
State Representatives Elton Aubert and Gary Smith Jr. took time from the House floor to discuss their roles as legislators and the role of the House and Senate in introducing and passing bills. State Representative Patricia Smith of Baton Rouge also discussed the importance of education to their future and the need to read during the summer months. “This is a critical time in the education of these young people and it is important that they understand what takes place at the State Capitol,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom.
For many students, this was their first visit to the Capitol and their first time meeting their State Representative. The history and significance of the Capitol building and the craftsmanship involved were shared by one of the Capitol tour guides. Most students heard for the first time how a bomb exploded in the Senate Chamber caused a pencil to stick in the ceiling, where it remains today. They also visited the Governor’s private elevator and witnessed the “bullet hole” in a granite wall from Governor Huey P. Long’s assassination.
On the trip with Robottom and members of her administrative staff were students and chaperones from West St. John Elementary, East St. John Elementary, St. Charles Catholic, Riverside Academy, LaPlace Elementary, St. Peter’s School, John L. Ory, Garyville Mt. Airy-Magnet, Fifth Ward Elementary, Leon Godchaux Accelerated Program, and Our Lady of Grace. “Hopefully, all of the schools will be able to participate next year, as discussions are underway to lengthen the visit and improve the experience for the students,” said Robottom.