Area colleges support students, say gun violence demonstrations won't impact admissions decisions

Colleges across the country, including the D.C. area, are releasing statements to reassure students that if they are penalized for participating in gun control demonstrations, it won't jeopardize their chances of enrollment.

George Washington University, American, UVA, and Johns Hopkins have put out statements on social media addressing concerns from students about backlash for their activism.

GW said on Twitter Friday with a released statement: "GW supports a student's right to advocate. If you are disciplined or suspended by your school as a consequence of peacefully & lawfully exercising your right to protest, such measures will have no effect upon your admissions decision."

American University made a similar sentiment:

Johns Hopkins in Baltimore said: "Hopkins values students who engage in peaceful + productive civic engagement."

UVA Associate Dean of Admission Jeannine Lalonde, also known as "Dean J" posted on Twitter, supporting student activism. "I see engaged, aware students at my current institution and I'm proud to see many coming up behind them."

Her thoughts were then echoed by UVA Dean of Admissions Greg Roberts: "We seek students who fight for what they believe in and strive for justice, equity and peace. We grieve with the students and families affected by the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School..."

They join dozens of other universities and colleges including Yale, MIT, Dartmouth, Boston U, UMass Amherst, UCLA, as well as Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges who have reassured high school students facing the threat of disciplinary action for taking part in gun control protests.

Students in D.C., Maryland and Virginia joined students in Florida with demonstrations at the Capitol to advocate for gun control laws and school safety.

High school principals and administration asked students not to leave school for safety reasons. On Wednesday, the principal of Bethesda-Chevy Chase said in a letter to families, attendance will be taken in each class on the day students were due to protest. She said she wanted to work with students to plan a demonstration at a time when class instruction is not disrupted.

The Washington Post reports a Texas school district superintendent came under fire after he sent a letter to students and parents saying students who attended demonstrations during school hours would be suspended for three days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.