On October 13, 2019 the 6th grade students and teachers at Belle Chasse Middle School had the opportunity to speak with local elected officials as part of the Project LEAD annual government presentation.
District Attorney, Charles Ballay welcomed the students and explained what his office does after a crime is committed. He spoke about his office and the important work they do.
Sheriff Jerry Turlich, Deputy Chief Carol Roberts of the Clerk of Court’s Office, Detective Holly Hardin, and Deputy Joseph Francis spoke on each of their job duties and responsibilities. The students were in awe when Deputy Francis commanded K-9 Tesla to sniff out “the backpack” that was scented with drugs. He explained how a dog like Tesla is trained to do the job that she does.
Finally, Trustee Robin Bunley spoke to the students about her life behind bars and how she regrets the bad choices she made that brought her to prison. Sherman Esteen, who was released from prison 92 days ago stated that his poor decisions landed him in jail for most of his adult life. He and Robin both spoke about the precious times they’ve missed with their family and friends.
The presentations concluded with a Q&A session to address any concerns or curiosity on the part of the students.
The Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s Office contends that actively involving students while teaching them about the legal system will increases their understanding of the law and ultimately foster a respect for the criminal justice system and its principles.