Colleges say they won't punish applicants for political protests

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of colleges and universities throughout the country are reassuring high school students their admission prospects won't be jeopardized if they are disciplined for participating in political protests.

Students around the country have been participating in school walkouts to make a statement on gun control in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

A number of school districts have threatened to impose punishments on the students who walk out, including suspensions.

Normally a suspension or other disciplinary action could potentially contribute to a student being rejected from college admission - or having an existing acceptance revoked.

But nearly 50 colleges and universities, from the Ivy Leagues to state schools, have been reassuring students that such disciplinary actions will not affect their admissions to college.

UCLA, the University of Southern California and Pomona College are among the Southern California schools who have issued such messages of support.

"UCLA supports students who use their right to peacefully demonstrate and have their voices heard. We stand with you," the school wrote on Twitter.

Pomona College advised students: "To all applicants and admitted students: Pomona College wants to assure you that participating in peaceful protests in response to gun violence, even if this leads to suspension or other school disciplinary action, will have absolutely no impact on your admission to Pomona."

USC's Kirk Brennan, the associate dean director of undergraduate admission, tweeted "#ParklandStudentsSpeak College admission officers seek students who stand up for their beliefs. We've got you on this side."

Reagor Wagnon, a sophomore at USC, said he was proud to see his school take that stand.

"I love this school, really I do. And I'm really happy they've taken this stance," he said.

"It's important to follow what you believe in even if there are consequences that you may face."
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