CAMBRIDGE (CBS) – Colleges in Massachusetts are telling prospective students that they won’t be punished for joining protests against gun violence.
Some high schools are threatening to suspend students if they leave class to protest.
But colleges are now saying if an applicant or accepted student joins in a peaceful protest, their admission to the school will not be revoked.
These comments come as student activists are organizing protests in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill writes in a blog post on MIT’s website that some accepted students have asked if the school’s offer will be rescinded if they are disciplined for joining protests.
“We have already informed those who asked that, in this case, a disciplinary action associated with meaningful, peaceful participation in a protest will not negatively impact their admissions decision, because we would not view it as inappropriate or lacking integrity on its face,” Schmill wrote.
Accepted students who are disciplined for protesting should still report it to MIT, but the school says it won’t affect their standing negatively.
The University of Massachusetts – Amherst tweeted Thursday that if high school students get in trouble for protesting, “we won’t hold it against you”
And the dean of admissions at Smith College tweeted to protesting students “we’ve got you on this side.”
Boston University said in a statement that “we stand in support of every high school student who chooses to participate in peaceful protests.”
“We want to reassure students who have already been admitted to BU or whose applications are currently under review, that your admission to Boston University will not be jeopardized should your school levy a penalty for participating in such protests,” Dean of Admissions Kelly Walter said.
WPI also joined the chorus of schools standing up for student expression.