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Some Missouri Colleges Are Actually Encouraging Students to Protest

A nationwide school walkout is planned for March 14 and St. Louis and Washington Universities are cool with it.

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Many colleges and universities across the U.S. have assured high school students that their applications would not be negatively impacted if they participated in any of the upcoming gun control protests. Several colleges in Missouri have gone a step further, actually encouraging students to exercise their right to voice dissent and protest.

A report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that St. Louis University President Fred Pestello posted a statement on the school’s website that read, in part “We must fundamentally change the way we interact with and view a prospective student’s high school experiences. This means colleges and universities formalizing admission policies that do not preclude students from attending a university because they voiced a dissenting opinion. In fact, dissent, dialogue, and debate are critical to the academy and should be seen as central to — not divergent from — learning.”

Washington University has also expressed its view that protest and taking a dissenting view can be a positive experience.

While students should feel good about applying to Wash. U or St. Louis, what is less clear is what kind of punishment they may face from their current school.

Some school districts have been explicit about policies that will punish students, while others have wavered on what will constitute a violation.

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