Denver, Colo., Mar 14, 2018 / 14:09 pm
On Wednesday, thousands of students throughout the United States walked out of classrooms as part of National School Walkout, a demonstration calling for safer schools and increased gun control, in the wake of the February high school shooting that left 17 Florida students dead.
Many of the walkouts were planned to last 17 minutes, in honor of each of the students who were shot and killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Feb. 14. Many Catholic schools used the day as a chance to call their students to prayer, either in addition to or instead of a walkout.
Schools in the Archdiocese of New Orleans were asked to hold 17 minutes of prayer in solidarity with shooting victims and the walkouts. The prayer services included the rosary, as well as the archdiocesan prayer against violence, murder and racism, which is recited regularly at Masses in the region.
"We didn't hear of any schools or students participating (in the walk-out), but we were hearing from our school communities, 'What could we do, what could we offer in support of lessening gun violence?'" Dr. RaeNell Houston, superintendent of Catholic Schools in New Orleans, told the Clarion Herald.