Massachusetts Colleges Pledge Not to Rescind Admission Over Protests

Some high schools are threatening punitive action as protests for more stringent gun control sweep the nation, but colleges in Massachusetts are saying it will not affect admissions.

Several Massachusetts schools have taken to social media to remind students that facing disciplinary action for peacefully protesting won't interfere with their acceptance.

MIT, Northeastern, UMass Amherst, Smith College, Boston University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are a few of the Massachusetts schools that have informed students peaceful protest will not negatively impact their admissions decision.

In a Facebook post, MIT says applicants in the Class of 2022 have asked if protesting gun violence will affect their admission.

WPI Dean of Admissions Andrew Palumbo says students applying to the school should not worry about protesting stopping them from getting in.

"Peaceful protest is not going to rise to the level where we revoke someone's admission. It's certainly not going to be the reason that a student is denied admission into the university," he said. "We look at who they are as a person. Their academic credentials, who they are outside of the classroom and we are looking for a fit."

Some high schools have informed students that they will face disciplinary action for walking out of class to protest gun laws. A national walk-out is scheduled for March 14.

"If there was no penalty where I'm from ... I would absolutely walk out and protest," said high school student Emily Hagoot from Alabama. "I honestly think it's a violation and an infraction on our rights as students."

Hagoot's mother agrees that students should be allowed to exercise their First Amendment right.

"I don't think there should be a punitive measure but if the schools are choosing it and the colleges support student activism, than I'm 100 percent behind the colleges," said Toni Shayo.

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