These Top Colleges Are Taking a Surprising Stance on Students Skipping Class to Protest Guns

After the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, high school students all over America are taking matters into their own hands to tackle gun reform. As a means of protest, school walk outs are scheduled on a national level to bring attention to the growing number of students who feel directly affected and increasingly concerned about the issue. However, many high schools are threatening various forms of punishment for students who choose to participate. Several top colleges have decided to weigh in and take a stance.


campus of UCLA
UCLA supports the students’ right to protest. | Wolterk/iStock/Getty Images

UCLA Admission sent out a tweet detailing it’s thoughts about the prospect of potential student protests. “UCLA supports students who use their right to peacefully demonstrate and have their voices heard. We stand with you,” the school tweeted along with a photo of text that read: “UCLA is a community that supports active citizenship and applauds students’ expression of their beliefs. Participation in peaceful, meaningful protest and/or civil action in no way jeopardizes your admission or scholarship to UCLA.”

Next: Previously, any disciplinary action that occurred after acceptance could revoke a student’s attendance at this school.

2. MIT

Boston Massachusetts Institute of Technology
It won’t affect their application status. | rabbit75_ist/iStock/Getty Images

MIT specifically states in their acceptance letters that students “must report to our office any conduct that may result or has resulted in any disciplinary or other action that occurs after your admission to MIT.” This bit of information proved troubling to students who planned on protesting current gun laws. MIT Admissions posted a letter to students in an effort to clear the matter up.

“[…] because we do not view such conduct on its face as inappropriate or inconsistent with their prior conduct, or anything we wouldn’t applaud amongst our own students, it will not negatively impact their admissions outcome,” wrote Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill.

Next: Yale wrote a letter to its prospective students about what will happen if they protest (or, what won’t). 

3. Yale

Yale University campus
Yale wrote a letter to students calming their fears. | f11photo/iStock/Getty Images

Yale began receiving questions from already admitted and potential students alike asking if their involvement in the recent gun protests would lead to their acceptance getting rescinded. In short, Yale responded: “Of course not.” Hannah Mendlowitz, a Senior Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Recruitment, wrote a letter to students titled “In Support of Student Protests” that details Yale’s attitude concerning a prospective student’s suspension due to protesting.

Next: Brown University weighs in

4. Brown University

Brown University
Their campus is all about supporting socially conscious students. | peterspiro/iStock/Getty Images

Brown University Admissions sent out a tweet alerting prospective students to its feelings towards the upcoming protests. “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,” the school wrote.

Next: A leading private research institution 

5. Boston University

Boston University Campus
The university proclaimed its support for the protest. | Brian Chang-Yun Hsu/Wikimedia Commons

Boston University Admissions posted a statement on their website in support of the upcoming protests. “Boston University believes that every student should expect a safe school environment in which to learn and study. We stand in support of every high school student who chooses to participate in peaceful protests, such as the March For Our Lives and the National School Walkout Day, or who thoughtfully and respectfully exercise their freedom of expression. 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,” wrote Kelly A. Walter, Associate Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admissions.

Next: This school applauds students’ expression of their beliefs.

6. Dartmouth College

Baker and Rauner Libraries on the Dartmouth College Green
They sent out a tweet assuring students that they support them. | ErikaMitchell/iStock/Getty Images

Dartmouth also sent out a tweet clearing up their stance on prospective students getting in trouble with their high schools for protesting. “Dartmouth supports active citizenship and applauds students’ expression of their beliefs,” the school tweeted along with a photo of text that read: “Dartmouth supports active citizenship and applauds students’ expression of their beliefs. Participation in peaceful protest in no way jeopardizes your admission to Dartmouth, even if you are disciplined or suspended. Speak your truth.”

Next: One of the most politically active colleges in America

7. George Washington University

George Washington University
They made it clear that students won’t be penalized for peaceful protests. | George Washington University via Facebook

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions at George Washington University released a statement on what will happen to students who are penalized for protesting. “As one of the most politically active colleges in the US, we support your Constitutional right to advocate for what is just. In our view, participation in peaceful protests is a legitimate way to exercise this right. If you are disciplined or suspended by your school district as a consequence of peacefully and lawfully exercising this right, such measures will have no effect upon your admissions decision here at GW,” wrote Dean of Admissions, Costas Solomou, Ed.D.

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