As some high school students face the threat of disciplinary action for participating in gun control demonstrations, dozens of colleges and universities are sending them a reassuring message: It won’t affect their chances of getting into their schools.
Nearly 50 schools, from Ivy Leaguers to public institutions, have taken to social media over the past few days to reassure students that taking part would not jeopardize admissions consideration.
Yale University said on its Twitter account that it would not rescind admissions decisions regardless of any penalties imposed on students by high school administrators. Brown University’s admissions staff also promised no negative fallout for any applicants.
Several even applauded the teenagers’ activism.
“UCLA is a community that supports active citizenship and applauds students’ expression of their beliefs,” the school’s admissions office tweeted. “UCLA stands with you.”
Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, tweeted, “Brandeis supports students’ right to stand up for their beliefs … Speak up, speak out.”
#Brandeis supports students' right to stand up for their beliefs. Those who participate in peaceful protests will not jeopardize their admission to Brandeis. Speak up, speak out.
— Brandeis University (@BrandeisU) February 23, 2018
The Feb. 14 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead has sparked calls for walkouts, sit-ins and other actions on school campuses across the U.S.
A Texas school superintendent said this week that students faced a three-day, out-of-school suspension if they joined the protests. Needville ISD Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said the Houston-area district is sensitive to school violence, but is focused on education, not political protests.
A school district in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, initially said students would face some sort of punishment if they took part in a planned March 14 walkout, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray later softened his stance, saying students could be excused with parental consent. Other school districts in the area have taken similar approaches.
Buzzfeed first reported the messages being posted by the college admissions offices.