Colorado colleges join others that won't penalize students during admission process for protesting

DENVER – As some high school students in parts of the country face possible disciplinary action for walking out of class to protest for stronger gun laws, Colorado colleges are joining dozens of others nationwide who say prospective students won’t be affected when applying to their school of choice.

The reassuring messages come after a Texas school superintendent said earlier this week students planning to protest for stronger gun control laws would face a three-day, out-of-school suspension if they joined the nationwide protests, according to an ABC News report.  

But more than 100 schools in the U.S. – including six in the state of Colorado – have told students they won’t be penalized during the admissions process should they get suspended for participating in these protests.

An official with the CU Boulder admissions office said their students were active and engaged citizens, adding applicants who choose to “peacefully exercise their right to free speech do not need to be worried about consequences in the admissions process.”

The University of Colorado campus in Denver said on Facebook that while they do require students to report if they are suspended by their high school, suspension for protesting in a peaceful and meaningful manner “will not negatively impact their admission decision to CU Denver.”

Colorado State University told future Rams that any disciplinary action as a result of lawful, peaceful student activism will not impact their admission decision.

“CSU will continue to support students who choose to have an active voice in their community,” a CSU admission official said.

Regis University officials tweeted that any disciplinary action as a result of peaceful protest and student advocacy will not hinder admission or enrollment to Regis University.

“We are here for and with students who choose to speak up, to participate and to stand for something,” the school official said.

The University of Denver also reassured students they would not be punished in the admissions process should they decide to protest, by stating the school values "social justice and activism."

"Students participating in walk-outs, marches, and protests are change-agents, not discipline concerns," said DU's vice chancellor of enrollment Todd Rinehart in a tweet

On Sunday, Metropolitan State University of Denver joined the growing list of schools who said prospective students won't be affected in the admission process should they decide to protest for stricter gun laws. 

"We support our future Roadrunners who wish to participate in peaceful protest and activism. It will not affect your admission to @msudenver. We run with you," a school official tweeted

The protests come in the wake of the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The mass shooting left 17 people dead and has sparked calls for nationwide walkouts, lie-ins, and other forms of peaceful protest.

In Colorado, students from Littleton, Chaparral, Thunder Ridge and Highlands Ranch high schools participated in the first Student Walkout Against Gun Violence protest earlier this week.

Three other nationwide protests are scheduled, including the March for Our Lives protest, organized by survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, as well as the National School Walkout rally, which is set to take place on the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre.

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