Colorado universities won’t penalize protesting students’ admissions chances

DENVER -- After a week full of walk-outs and protests, several Colorado universities are changing their policies regarding admissions.

A handful of the state’s top schools now say students with disciplinary records stemming from legal and peaceful protest or activism will not have to worry about it counting against their admission application.

“There are several high schools all over the country that have announced that they will be suspending students that walk out or have anything to do with any type of protest,” high school sophomore Ethan Davis said.

Since the shooting in Florida, he has become an activist in his community, working alongside other young people to organize the “March for Our Lives."

“I’m actually wondering about turnout for the [future] marches and walkouts because kids are so scared of that,” he said.

Metropolitan State University of Denver said on Twitter on Sunday, “We support our future roadrunners who with to participate in peaceful protest and activism. It will not affect your admission to MSU Denver. We run with you.”

Similarly, Colorado State University said on Twitter, “Future Rams, you can rest assured that disciplinary action as a result of lawful, peaceful student activism will not impact your admission decision. CSU will continue to support students who choose to have an active voice in their community.”

And the University of Colorado wrote, “CU Boulder students are active, engaged citizens. Applicants who choose to peacefully exercise their right to free speech do not need to be worried about the consequences in the #Admissions process.”

“I was absolutely delighted to hear that and I was hoping more schools would follow suit for sure,” Davis said.

Dozens of institutions across the country say they are committed to similar policies. However, critics believe dismissing punishment for skipping school is wrong.

“Sure you can punish them for truancy because, I mean, they are not in school. But additional punishment because they are protesting or being activists is completely unjust,” Davis said.