School districts, colleges say they support peaceful student protests

Applicants to area colleges will not have to worry about whether they’ll be accepted if they are disciplined for participating in a walkout protest in support of school safety.

Students at numerous high schools across the country have participated in, or are planning, school walkouts to call attention to safety and gun issues. The protests are in response to the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla., school shooting, in which 17 students and school employees were killed.

Reports from across the country show that some school districts have threatened to punish students. The principal of Colerain High School near Cincinnati said that students will be considered truant if they walk out of class.

For the most part though, both colleges and area school district leaders have come out in support of the peaceful protests, with many saying there will be no punishment. Close to 250 students walked out of the Dayton Regional STEM school on Feb. 21 but a spokesperson said the district supported the protest.

RELATED: UD police to use campus-wide siren in emergencies

“We’re preparing for it actually,” said Paul Waller, Oakwood High School principal. “I’m working with some student leaders and kind of having discussions about what they want to do and we want to support them in that. There won’t be any discipline assigned and whatever we do we will work with the Oakwood Safety Department.”

Oakwood students are planning some form of protest and students are also organizing to take a bus to Washington, D.C. for the March For Our Lives on March 24.

Student leaders at Dayton Public Schools are working with the district’s administration to figure out appropriate ways for students to support the protests but not necessarily walkouts, spokeswoman Marsha Bonhart said via email. Acting Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said that students will be able to participate constructively within the “rules of DPS policies.”

Students at Stivers School for the Arts have created a walkout page on Twitter and principal Erin Dooley is meeting with students.

“I think they represent good role modeling for their peers, but they must understand there are other ways to participate,” Dooley said in a prepared statement.

RELATED: Ohio governor asks for review of campus sexual assault enforcement

Even if any high school students are punished for peacefully protesting, they likely will not face any sort of penalty when applying to area colleges.

The University of Dayton said via Twitter that it “supports students’ rights to engage in peaceful protest that seek to bring about social and cultural change.”

“While some high schools have threatened disciplinary action against students who participate in demonstrations, the University will not penalize students who report their punishment for participating in peaceful events,” UD said in its official Twitter account on Sunday afternoon.

UD is one of dozens of universities have told students in the past week that if they are suspended or otherwise disciplined for peaceful protests, it will not affect their chances of admission. The list includes elite private universities like Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as public universities such as West Virginia University, Miami University and Wright State University.

RELATED: 7 controversies that cost Wright State millions of dollars

A Miami leader recently tweeted that students who participate in peaceful protests should now that “we have your back.”

“Miami University stands with high school students across the nation who are peacefully protesting against gun violence,” the school said in a tweet from Michael Kabbaz, senior vice president for enrollment management.

Like Miami and UD leaders, Wittenberg University president Michael Frandsen gave his support to peaceful high school protests in a social media post over the weekend.

“Wittenberg has always looked for students who want to make a difference. This is infused in our mission, and we believe these are the students who will enhance our community,” the university said via Twitter. “Wittenberg would never penalize students in our admission decision-making process for wanting change and working peacefully and lawfully to make it happen.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Immigration: Babies and children held in 'tender age' shelters according to report (live updates)
Immigration: Babies and children held in 'tender age' shelters according to report (live updates)

Top Republicans responded Tuesday to the Trump administration’s hard-line immigration policy of separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border, a “zero tolerance” policy implemented six weeks ago. Many Republicans responded publicly to the harsh criticism over the policy, saying they support keeping migrant children and parents...
Opinion: Why only answer is to break up biggest Wall Street banks

Federal bank regulators are proposing to allow Wall Street more freedom to make riskier bets with federally insured bank deposits — such as the money in your checking and savings accounts. Watch your wallets. The new proposal waters down the so-called “Volcker Rule” (named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who proposed...
Why leaving a water bottle in your car could be dangerous
Why leaving a water bottle in your car could be dangerous

On scorching summer days, taking a nice cold bottle of water for your drive seems like a natural fit. But it could lead to startling consequences, firefighters say. >> Read more trending news One Oklahoma fire department and a power company in Idaho recently demonstrated how a partly filled water bottle could magnify the sun’s rays and...
Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap
Mom warns of sunless heatstroke after toddler almost doesn't wake up from nap

A Canadian mother is warning other parents about the dangers of indoor heatstroke after her daughter endured a frightening ordeal. Jennifer Abma of Edmonton, Alberta, told "Today" that she was keeping her daughters inside when a heatwave hit their town. Her 3-year-old daughter, Anastasia, went upstairs to take a nap a few weeks...
Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer
Active ingredient in sunscreen could cause cancer

There's a health warning about a chemical found in most sunscreens. A new study found that when that chemical comes into contact with sun and chlorine, it can become toxic. If you flip over your sunscreen, chances are avobenzone is first ingredient you'll find. In fact, Boston's WFXT went into a couple of drug stores and found the vast majority...
More Stories