UD, Miami tell applicants: No penalty if suspended for protest

The University of Dayton and Miami University are reassuring current high school students that if they are suspended or otherwise disciplined for a peaceful school safety walkout protest, it won’t affect their chances of admission.

Students at numerous high schools across the country have participated in, or are planning, school walkouts to call attention to safety and gun issues. That’s in the wake of the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla., school shooting, in which 17 students and school employees died.

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“As a Catholic and Marianist institution committed to social justice, the University of Dayton supports students’ rights to engage in peaceful protest that seek to bring about social and cultural change,” the university said in a tweet from its official account. “While some high schools have threatened disciplinary action against students who participate in demonstrations, the University will not penalize students who report their punishment for participating in peaceful events.”

College applications generally ask high school students about expulsions or suspensions, with possible consequences on whether they get into the school or not. A few high schools in Texas and Wisconsin have made public comments that students would be disciplined for participating in school walkouts.

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But dozens of universities have told students in the past week that if they are disciplined for peaceful protests, it will not affect their chances of admission. The list includes elite private universities like Yale and MIT, as well as public universities such as West Virginia and Indiana universities.

“Miami University stands with high school students across the nation who are peacefully protesting against gun violence,” the school said in a tweet from Michael Kabbaz, senior vice president for enrollment management. “Rest assured, if you incur school discipline for walking out, you can report it to us and know we have your back.”

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