High school students who protest against gun violence will not be denied admission into UF, university officials said Saturday.
UF Admissions announced its support of high school students’ First Amendment rights to expression and peaceful protest through social media. The admissions office said it will review student conduct leading to expulsions or suspensions on a case-by-case basis, according to a tweet.
UF supports the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, including by peaceful and lawful protest. We would not consider participating in such a protest a negative in our admission process. We will review conduct that leads to discipline on a case-by-case basis.— UF Admissions (@UFAdmissions) February 24, 2018
“UF supports the First Amendment right to freedom of expression, including by peaceful and lawful protest,” the tweet reads. “We would not consider participating in such a protest a negative in our admission process.”
High schools around the country have threatened suspension or expulsion if students walk out of class to protest in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting nearly two weeks ago.
About 100 colleges and universities have put out statements ensuring high school students will not be penalized for protesting when evaluated by admission officials.
UF Admissions deleted its first tweet on the subject and then reposted five minutes later in order to fit its entire statement within Twitter’s character limit, UF spokesperson Steve Orlando said.
Marley Penson, a 17-year-old Miami Beach Senior High School senior, said UF’s statement relieved her. She and hundreds of her fellow school students walked out of the school Wednesday afternoon despite disapproval from the school’s administration.
“As a future student of UF, it’s very comforting and nice to hear that it wouldn’t affect my admission,” she said. “I’ve worked so hard all throughout high school, and UF has always been my No. 1 choice since I could remember.”
She said she thinks high schools are ridiculous to discourage students from voicing their concerns.
“We’re going to stand up for what we believe in,” she said.