Colleges are tweeting promises to not penalize kids suspended for protesting gun violence
The teen uprising that’s happening right now is damn heartwarming to watch. Kids who aren’t even old enough to vote have taken over the political conversation about gun access in the U.S. following the deadly Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. These kids have staged lie-ins, organized marches and started planning a nationwide school walkout to demand that politicians — you know, those adults who keep seeing kids being killed by guns but never do anything about it — actually make change that will save their lives.
There’s no question: These kids are heroes, and they’re an inspiration to us all.
Only there are school administrators who don’t see it that way. Students who participate in protest events are facing suspension and other punishment in some school districts.
“Life is all about choices and every choice has a consequence whether it be positive or negative,” a Texas superintendent told Buzzfeed. “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.”
Buzzfeed reports that another school district in Texas and one in Wisconsin also warned students that they would be punished if they missed school because of marches or walkouts (though the Wisconsin district later clarified that students who had permission from their parents to miss school would be fine).
Honestly, this is ridiculous. How many times are adults going to fail these kids? They’ve sat by for years watching politicians they can’t vote for offer nothing but “thoughts and prayers” after their peers are brutally murdered, and now that they’re trying to do something about it, they’re facing suspension from school? This is the message we want to send the kids who are already doing more for the future of this country than most adults? Come the fuck on.
Luckily, not everyone is hell-bent on shutting the kids down. A ton of colleges have been tweeting that getting suspended from their high schools for participating in protests will not affect kids’ applications or admissions status. Frankly, it’s gratifying as hell to see these kids get the support and encouragement they deserve.
Here at @Yale, we are proud to support all students for participating in peaceful walkouts for gun control or other causes, and we will not rescind admissions decisions for students who do so regardless of any school’s disciplinary policy. Read more here:https://t.co/dX863n8v1K pic.twitter.com/Zixpoj3L1P
— Yale Admissions (@YaleUGA) February 24, 2018
Students disciplined by your high schools for joining in responsible anti-gun protests—you won’t get your admission rescinded at @MIT – Policies, Principles, and Protests | MIT Admissions https://t.co/35btlmR66A
— Joi Ito (@Joi) February 22, 2018
Admission to BU will not be jeopardized should your school levy a penalty for participating in peaceful protests, such as the National School Walkout Day. See Dean of Admissions Kelly A. Walter's full statement here: https://t.co/Xikz3HkClJ @BU_Tweets #StudentsStandUp
— BU Admissions (@ApplyToBU) February 23, 2018
— Dean J @ UVA (@UVaDeanJ) February 23, 2018
We will not penalize students for standing up for what they believe in or for making opinions known through… https://t.co/bG2qRB1Hiz
— Tulane Admission (@TulaneAdmission) February 22, 2018
Dartmouth supports active citizenship and applauds students’ expression of their beliefs. pic.twitter.com/TlcKcQIxQ1
— Dartmouth (@dartmouth) February 23, 2018
GW supports a student's right to advocate. If you are disciplined or suspended by your school as a consequence of peacefully & lawfully exercising your right to protest, such measures will have no effect upon your admissions decision. Full statement: https://t.co/ohugbf4MD7
— GW Admissions (@GWAdmissions) February 23, 2018
Students: If you participate in peaceful protests against gun violence and receive school discipline for walking out, staging your protest, etc., please rest assured that you can report it to UMass Amherst, and we won't hold it against you. #ParklandStudentsSpeak
— UMass Admissions (@UMassAmherstUA) February 22, 2018
Applicants to Brown: Expect a socially conscious, intellectually independent campus where freedom of expression is fundamentally important. You can be assured that peaceful, responsible protests against gun violence will not negatively impact decisions on admission to Brown.
— Brown Admission (@BrownUAdmission) February 23, 2018
We want to reassure students who have applied or have been admitted to Northeastern University that disciplinary actions associated with participation in peaceful protests will not jeopardize your admission.
— Northeastern U. (@Northeastern) February 23, 2018
UConn would like to assure students who have applied or been admitted to the University that disciplinary action associated with participation in peaceful protests will not affect your admission decision in any way.
— UConn (@UConn) February 24, 2018
But to be clear: Admissions offers will not be affected by suspensions or other disciplinary actions at your high school that may result from your positive and constructive participation in walkouts, demonstrations, or other peaceful protests. 3/3
— Clark University (@ClarkUniversity) February 23, 2018
“Peaceful protest is something that our students do before they arrive at Smith, it’s something that they do while they’re at Smith, and it’s something that they do after Smith."
— Smith College Tweets (@smithcollege) February 23, 2018
UCLA supports students who use their right to peacefully demonstrate and have their voices heard. We stand with you. pic.twitter.com/n4JJgRoEK8
— UCLA Admission (@UCLAAdmission) February 24, 2018
Also, in case any kids (or their parents) are stressin’ about this, here’s some food for thought:
If kids are worried about getting suspended for protesting gun violence and ruining their college prospects I PROMISE YOU “Why I Was Suspended For Fighting the NRA” is a better college admission essay topic than “How Soccer Made Me a Team Player.”
— Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright) February 24, 2018
And for kids who need a little extra help phrasing the admissions essay that will make them sound like the world-savers they are right now, this angel is here for you:
I’m a lawyer, author, & former chairman of a national writers guild.
If you’re applying to college and need help positioning why you were suspended for opposing gun violence—email me and I’m happy to help edit your essay no charge. ❤️✊🏽#StudentsDemandAction#GunControlNow https://t.co/BQMtDR8Wj2
— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) February 24, 2018
These kids are literally shaping a future for this country that they want to live in. Let’s all recognize that and give them the support they need to do it.