inside: america's toughest high school

On the edge of New Orleans sits Walter L Cohen high school. From pregnancies to proms and knives to guns, this is America’s Toughest High School.

programme information


1 x 60'

Production Company

Hoggard Films





Episode Information

Walter L. Cohen Senior High School, a post-Katrina school in New Orleans is one of the most dangerous high schools in America. Inside: America’s Toughest High School, follows three students and one first-year teacher as they reveal their unvarnished accounts of life at this turbulent High School. Violent parties, deadly gang rivalries and threats against teachers are commonplace, through personal video diaries and intimate interviews we are offered a rare glimpse into school life in the murder capital of America. Among those followed are a popular young man hoping to beat the odds and earn a college scholarship, a young mother struggling to graduate after two years away from the classroom, an 11th-grader whose studies take little precedence over life in the hood, and a new teacher hoping to empower students to graduate, or in some cases, simply survive. Although the odds are stacked against them, as homicide rates are skyrocketing, nearly one in six Cohen girls have babies or are pregnant and only 25 percent of Cohen seniors will make it to college. Teachers and community members remain hopeful that these students are making small steps towards something greater.

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