Thousands of students from Atlanta Public Schools walked out of class at 10 a.m. on Wednesday morning as part of the National School Walkout event to advocate for gun control following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
APS said in a media statement that 16,000 students across its 89 schools took part in the National School Walkout.
Students left class for 17 minutes in honor of the 17 students and faculty members gunned down in last month’s shooting in Parkland.
APS held sanctioned walkouts, but threatened disciplinary action for other protests that disrupted the school day. Security was on high alert at Intown schools, including Grady High School in Midtown, which, according to a parent, was on “unofficial lockdown” in response to the walkout. At Booker T. Washington High School on the Westside, students took a knee in the hallway in protest.
There have been reports from school systems around metro Atlanta that students were locked in their schools buildings to prevent walkouts, while in North Fulton a social media clip that has gone viral appears to be a teacher stopping a speech by two students. Some school districts threatened disciplinary action if students participated in the event.