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Johns Hopkins won't penalize applicants who protest gun violence

Johns Hopkins University joined a growing number of universities and colleges around the country in publicly assuring high school students that their admissions chances won’t be hurt if they protest gun violence.

The university made the announcement on Twitter Friday evening and pinned the tweet at the top of its feed.

“Hopkins values students who engage in peaceful + productive civic engagement,” the Baltimore university said. “Our undergrad admissions office supports students who take respectful action, and your admission will not be negatively impacted if you are disciplined for expressing yourself in a peaceful way.”

Students have been pushing for stronger gun laws after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., earlier this month. National demonstrations and walk outs are planned in the coming months, including on March 14 and April 20, which is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings.

Several school districts, including some in Texas and Wisconsin, warned students they face suspension if they walk out of school to join the protests.

A number of schools have made similar statements in support of protesting students, including Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Virginia, George Washington University and UCLA.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County plans to discuss the issue in the next week, a spokeswoman said. Other Maryland schools couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday and hadn’t posted anything on Twitter.

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