Penn will not administer disciplinary action against any applicant protesting gun violence at their local high schools, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda wrote in a statement Monday morning.
“Penn applauds any student who peacefully asserts their right to protest, whether for tighter gun regulations or for other causes that they believe in. Participation in these activities will not negatively affect any student’s application to the University of Pennsylvania," the statement read.
The announcement to protect applicants protesting gun violence follows a wave of similar announcements from schools including Boston University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Columbia University, and Pennsylvania State University.
In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fl., high school students across the nation have mobilized in protest of gun violence. At Penn, students protested gun violence near the "LOVE" sign on College Green on Feb. 22.
Students have staged walkouts and demonstrations in support of stricter gun control legislation and have planned nationally-inclusive events and movements such as Enough: National School Walkout and March for Our Lives.
The protests have sparked outrage and discipline from school districts across the nation.
The Needville Independent School District in Texas warned that any student participating in walkouts would be suspended for three days. Similarly, schools in Washington, Colorado, Virginia, and Maryland have threatened similar punishments — including adverse effects on grades.
The Common Application — the most prominent college application platform in the country — requires that students include any and all criminal background and disciplinary records. In March 2017, however, in response to requests by the Department of Education, the Common App said they would ask students to provide more context for their records.