Students packed the courtyard at Benjamin Franklin High School Wednesday morning — just two days after the school had to cancel classes due to its own gun threat. They were among hundreds of students in New Orleans and thousands nationwide who left their classrooms Wednesday to take part in a national school walkout to protest gun violence after the latest school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla.
In the chilly courtyard, Ben Franklin junior, Jamia Brown, handed out information to her classmates about how they can contact elected officials and call for stricter gun laws.
"I think we need to get out priorities straight," Brown said. "We need to prioritize our students — the people who are our future — just keeping them alive," she said. "We need to prioritize children over guns."
The mood turned solemn as students read the names of those killed in the Parkland shooting.
Sophomore Allison Lee says the Parkland killing was really frightening for her and her family.
"This is what students have to do in order to get attention. And that’s really scary for us," she said. "Our lawmakers are people who have political power in this country. They need to do something to help us."
Students also planned walkouts at Lusher Charter School, Homer Plessy Community School, Brother Martin and several other public and private schools and universities.