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Colleges Are Promising High Schoolers That Getting Suspended For Protesting Guns Won’t Hurt Their Admissions Chances

Several high schools said students who participate in walkouts could be suspended, but colleges say they won't penalize them.

Posted on February 24, 2018, at 11:24 a.m. ET

As high schoolers across the US lead the charge in protesting for gun reform after the deadly Florida school shooting, many are facing the risk of harsh disciplinary action.

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In the Needville Independent School District just outside Houston, Texas, the superintendent reportedly sent out letters threatening three-day suspensions for any student who joins in on walkouts.

"Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative," Superintendent Curtis Rhodes said. "We will discipline no matter if it is 1, 50, or 500 students involved. All will be suspended for three days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline."

The Spring Independent School District, also in the Houston area, and the Waukesha County School District in Wisconsin issued similar warnings. (The Waukesha superintendent later made another statement saying students could participate if they were excused from class by their parents.)

Now colleges are standing up for the teenage activists, saying it won't affect their admissions decisions if they get suspended for protesting.

Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

Here are just a few of the schools that have vowed not to penalize student protesters:

Yale University

Here at @Yale, we are proud to support all students for participating in peaceful walkouts for gun control or other… https://t.co/SrHUzQ4gyy

MIT

Students disciplined by your high schools for joining in responsible anti-gun protests—you won’t get your admission… https://t.co/aJs7ocEDD6

Boston University

Admission to BU will not be jeopardized should your school levy a penalty for participating in peaceful protests, s… https://t.co/q9m0WW2Akg

University of Virginia

My Dean wanted to add his words of support to my tweets from Wednesday. He's not on Twitter, so I'm sharing a scree… https://t.co/rYEGhx5g0g

Tulane University

We will not penalize students for standing up for what they believe in or for making opinions known through... https://t.co/bG2qRB1Hiz

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth supports active citizenship and applauds students’ expression of their beliefs.

George Washington University

GW supports a student's right to advocate. If you are disciplined or suspended by your school as a consequence of p… https://t.co/UBKmOuNBDT

UMass Amherst

Students: If you participate in peaceful protests against gun violence and receive school discipline for walking ou… https://t.co/n9naxIe8tS

Brown University

Applicants to Brown: Expect a socially conscious, intellectually independent campus where freedom of expression is… https://t.co/cH2eNHnD43

Northeastern University

We want to reassure students who have applied or have been admitted to Northeastern University that disciplinary ac… https://t.co/PRpQhcVN4D

University of Connecticut

UConn would like to assure students who have applied or been admitted to the University that disciplinary action as… https://t.co/zdVexlXqBZ

Clark University

But to be clear: Admissions offers will not be affected by suspensions or other disciplinary actions at your high s… https://t.co/amAuZKnoDE

Smith College

“Peaceful protest is something that our students do before they arrive at Smith, it’s something that they do while… https://t.co/a3EvZYNCmY

UCLA

UCLA supports students who use their right to peacefully demonstrate and have their voices heard. We stand with you.

Brandeis University

@adammarx13 @MIT Brandeis supports students' right to stand up for their beliefs. Those who participate in peaceful… https://t.co/pLmRQiVPn4

For more schools that have made this pledge, growing lists are available here and here.