Biloxi High School observed a national movement calling for change on Wednesday.
The impact of the February shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School was seen all across the country as students participated in the National School Walkout.
Rather than staging a protest, the students paid a sobering tribute to the lives taken in Parkland, FL in their own way. The moment began with 17 rings of a bell, 17 balloons released, and 17 empty chairs in the school's assembly.
"It's saddening to me because those 17 victims could have very easily been 17 of us," said 10th grader, Jonathan Sengsiry.
The school organized a campus-wide effort to memorialize the victims and have a serious conversation about school safety.
Principal Marcus Boudreaux took the opportunity to talk to his students about steps they could take to ensure security on campus. They emphasized alerting authorities and school faculty if unusual activity is noticed.
"They're going to know everything long before we ever do, so we really rely on them to be the eyes and ears of the school," said Boudreaux.
The message hit home and made an impact on the students. "I think it's really important to know where you should go and what your surroundings are," said 11th grader, Zoe Sayler.
Many of the students realized a lot of work is needed to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.
"I think there's a lot of things we can do, from expanding background checks to banning bump stocks, to raising the minimum age. But I think the most important thing to do is to not forget it, not let it get swept under the radar, and keep talking about it," said senior, William Meynardie.
According to Principal Boudreaux, the Parkland school shooting caused Biloxi High School to redesign some of its emergency policies.