Courtesy Photo | Sen. Barrow Peacock visited students at Apollo Elementary in Bossier City.

Sen. Barrow Peacock completed visits of every public school in his district today, a goal he set when he first took office in January 2012.

In fact, Sen. Peacock is the only Louisiana legislator of 144 in the Class of 2012 to have visited every school in his district.

Peacock represents Senate District 37 in Shreveport-Bossier. Not only did he visit 40 schools in his own district, but private and charter schools and 12 others outside of the district when invited.

Today he had a front row seat at Bossier Elementary’s Christmas program. His visits have included roundtables with principals and teachers, tours of schools, speaking in classrooms and to student councils, reading to students and presenting Legislative coloring books, and attending groundbreakings and wing additions.

Courtesy Photo | Sen. Barrow Peacock with Bossier Elementary Principal Treska Mitchell.
Courtesy Photo | Sen. Barrow Peacock with Bossier Elementary Principal Treska Mitchell.

At Southfield School, a student presented an idea which Peacock was able to amend into a bill that allows an eighth-grader who is 15 to take driver’s education instead of waiting until the ninth grade.

Peacock also presented a resolution at Southfield to commend and congratulate Adriana Martin for being ranked first in the United States and World Pi Ranking as a 7 year old.

He has spoken to students at Caddo Magnet and Loyola College Prep, his alma mater, about dangers of distracted driving. He addressed patriotism for a Shreve Island Elementary School Red White and Blue Day.

Many of the visits were arranged through the Caddo and Bossier school system liaisons and others were by invitation. Some of the visits were in conjunction with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White and Sen. David Vitter’s educational meetings.

Others involved honoring law enforcement, veterans or addressing anti-bullying.

“The time Sen. Peacock has invested in Bossier Schools is invaluable,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent D.C. Machen. “He has not only made it a point to visit every school in his district to interact with our students and see the level of instruction being taught, but he has also taken a keen interest in and desire to understand the issues facing our educators today. Sen. Peacock is actively engaged with our teachers, administrators and School Board members, and always just a phone call away, which we are most grateful for.”

Peacock even attended the Caddo “Hop on the Bus” and “Ring the Bell” events that start the school year at six schools outside of his district.

While the school visits were intended for the senator to gain knowledge from the principals and teachers and observe classrooms, some included pomp and circumstance. There have been welcome signs, artwork and letters, and Parkway High School football coin tosses, pep rallies and ROTC welcomes.

Peacock visited civics, history, advanced math, science, robotics, band, home economics, ROTC classes, conducted school TV station interviews and had lunch with students and teachers.

He announced the mock Presidential elections at Airline High School and math students did a statistical lesson on his biorhythms to determine his physical, emotional and intellectual moods, which his legislative assistant kept handy.

St. Joseph Catholic School included recognizing the Louisiana Non-Public 8th Grade Student of the Year, 9/11 and veterans events, and a Mardi Gras parade.

“Our schools are an example of the American dream in that the opportunity to succeed is available to all of the students if they are willing to apply themselves,” Peacock said. “I welcome ideas to improve our educational system. We can’t be complacent. Our most important investment is our human capital, which is our educational system and knowledge-based economy.”

He said Louisiana’s teachers are of “vital importance to all of our citizens and our legislative decisions significantly impact and determine the quality of the state’s schools and teachers. The teachers who I have met have shown that they are committed to their students to compete with anybody in the world.”

He annually meets with the Louisiana Association of Educators, Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana, Red River United and the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association.

Peacock has also allowed students to job shadow at his legislative office and interview him for school papers.

He regularly visits with 4-H’ers and students from Bossier Parish Community College during session and has recognized excellent students on the Senate floor and arranged a visit with the governor for a constituent who received the University Medal, LSU’s highest academic achievement for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

He has also visited every higher education institution in Shreveport-Bossier.

The Louisiana Senate participates in the National Conference of State Legislatures’ America’s Legislators Back to School program. “The Louisiana Senate believes it is imperative that we engage our young people in the process of representative democracy,” Peacock said.

“This civic education program is truly a chance to educate and to be educated, a chance to nurture civic responsibility in our state’s future leaders,” Peacock said.