Students protesting gun laws: Will prospective UNF students get penalized?

Sam Chaney

Students hold signs at a ‘lie-in’ demonstration supporting gun control reform in Washington, D.C. February 18, 2018. Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The tragic school shooting in Parkland earlier this month added another drop into the ocean that is the debate on gun control, and ripples of activism are quickly growing into waves.

The surviving students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have started a new movement of high school students acting to protest current gun laws. Plans for walkouts and peaceful student protests have started occurring around the country, and some students are taking hits on their official records as a result.

For this reason, the question has been raised as to whether or not this will hurt prospective college freshmen when they apply for admission.

When Spinnaker reached out to ask how prospective UNF students will be impacted, the University issued the following statement:

“UNF supports the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, including by peaceful and lawful protest. We believe that this country is at its best when its students demonstrate that right through integrity, scholarship and freedom of expression. Our admissions decisions are not impacted now — nor have they been in the past — by a student exercising his or her First Amendment rights.”

Many other colleges and universities around the country and in Florida, such as the University of Miami and the University of Florida, have expressed similar judgment regarding disciplinary records of prospective and admitted students.

The next planned national protest is National School Walkout Day on March 14, where high school students and teachers would exit their schools in peaceful protest of lawmakers’ inaction of gun control.

This protest takes place one month following the Parkland shooting and lasts approximately 17 minutes; one minute for every life lost.

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