The demonstrations, comprised of truant students, parents, teachers, and alumni of two high schools, one whose charter operator was being changed and the other that soon will get merged into another, followed on previous days’ refusals of some students to attend classes at both. They “demanded” the undoing of certain personnel changes and cancellation of the merger.
The main controversy came regarding the merger of L.B. Landry High with O. Perry Walker. Personnel, including one popular coach/academic counselor, were let go at the former because of much lower enrollments. District resources realignment had led to changing enrollment patterns away from the school, as it emphasized getting students into higher-performing schools, and population losses as a result of the hurricane disasters of 2005 have created an overbuilt infrastructure. The coach in question, who was offered the chance to stay on as an unpaid assistant, had presided over an alumni group that wanted to take over the Landry charter rather than see the merge, so opponents speculated this caused his removal from a paid position.