HELENA, Mont. — Twelve students from Roosevelt Middle School in Red Lodge visited the Office of the Secretary of State on Tuesday. The students, members of the school’s student council, visited with Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen about the responsibilities and roles the office holds in state government.
“I was honored to welcome the students from Roosevelt Middle School and impressed by their questions about our office and Montana’s government,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “It’s exciting to see our youth show interest in how their state operates.”
Secretary Jacobsen described the role the Secretary of State’s Office plays in Montana’s elections, how the Business Services Department registers and renews businesses, and answered questions from students about election laws and why she chose to run for public office.
“Everything we do in this office is in the spirit of improvement,” Secretary Jacobsen told the students.
The students, ranging from sixth to eighth grade, serve in a variety of positions within their school’s student council, from executive officers to class representatives and representatives similar to the House system. They were proud to explain the goals they have while representing their school.
“Our student council wanted to accomplish what our overall student body wanted,” explained one student.
“I wanted to make sure everyone’s voice was heard,” said another.
“I ran for President to make our middle school an even better place than it already is,” added another.
The students explained they are currently working on an issue regarding wearing hats in the school buildings, contacting more than 30 schools around the state to learn about their policies, while discussing why students should or shouldn’t be allowed to wear hats inside during school hours.
Secretary Jacobsen also asked the students if they might someday run for public office.
“I could see myself (running for office),” admitted one student. “I would probably need a better understanding of our government, but I could see myself doing that.”
Secretary Jacobsen gave each student a copy of the United States and Montana Constitution, with two students reading the Preamble from each. The students also toured the Capitol and visited with Gov. Greg Gianforte during their trip to Helena.
“Thank you to the students and to Principal Jason Reimer for driving some 10 hours roundtrip to visit our Capitol and learn about our state’s government,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “It’s important to give students an opportunity to see their government in action.”