On March 14, tens of thousands of high school students across the U.S. walked out of class in response to the February 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Lasting 17 minutes, the walkouts were designed to honor the 17 victims of the Parkland shooting. Furthermore, these demonstrations were intended to give students an opportunity to protest gun violence and demand tougher gun laws.
According to the Washington Post, most of the walkouts occurred with the support of school administrators. However, some schools did not allow students to walk out or took disciplinary action against those who did.
Undoubtedly, students may be concerned that such disciplinary action could affect their college admissions prospects. These students should be reassured by the growing list of #NeverAgain Colleges (named after the student-led #NeverAgain Movement that started after Parkland). These colleges, of which there are currently over 300, have publicly stated that they support students’ rights to peacefully protest and that they will not penalize students who have been disciplined for engaging in such protests.
Most colleges require applicants to report if they have been subject to disciplinary action, i.e., suspension. (Students do not have to report detentions.) #NeverAgain Colleges have pledged that they will not deny admission to students who have been disciplined for participating in non-violent protests, nor will these colleges rescind offers of admission that they have already made to such students. (This does not mean that students who are disciplined for participating in protests are guaranteed admission; it simply means they will not be denied due to the disciplinary action.)
The complete list of #NeverAgain Colleges, which includes schools ranging from the Ivy League to public universities to colleges with religious affiliations, can be found here. In addition to listing the 300+ colleges that have made public statements in support of students (“confirmed statements”), the website also lists colleges that have made what it calls “insufficient statements” and those that have not made a statement. For the schools that have made confirmed statements, the website has links to each college’s statement.
The list of #NeverAgain Colleges has grown considerably since it was started shortly after the Parkland shooting. On February 24, Reuters reported there were over 40 schools on the list; on March 2, an article in The Atlantic stated the list had more than 250 colleges; as of today, there are 311. So, if a college you are interested in or have applied to is not listed, continue to check the website, and if you’re so inclined, call the admissions office and ask about the college’s policy.