Colleges raise concerns about High school student protests against gun violence

Colleges raise concerns about High school student protests against gun violence

Colleges raise concerns about High school student protests against gun violence

Kaplan Test Prep Survey: Nearly Half of Teens Who Say They Will Participate in National School Walkout to Protest Gun Violence Are Doing So Despite Concerns of Potential Penalty from Colleges

A majority (55 percent) of high school students say they intend on walking out of class as part of National School Walkout and nearly half (46 percent) of those who plan on walking out say they’d do so even if this results in penalties from the colleges they plan to apply to, according to a Kaplan Test Prep survey of over 400 teens.

The walkout, planned for 10:00 AM local time, on Wednesday, March 14, at high schools across the country, is being organized to memorialize the victims of the Parkland, FL high school massacre and call for stronger gun control/safety laws. Among those students who don’t plan on walking out, many say that the primary reason is fear of disciplinary action — whether by their high school (22 percent), college admissions offices (14 percent), or their parents (9 percent). The balance (56 percent) say they will not walk out primarily because they do not support the walkout.

This is Lincoln Park High School (Chicago, IL, USA) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those students who walk out, but are concerned their actions may be held against them by colleges to which they apply, many colleges and universities have a message: Feel free to exercise your First Amendment rights, but do it peacefully . Several high profile colleges are telling teens that they won’t be penalized for their activism, including: American University, Boston University, Brigham Young University, Brown University, Bucknell University, Harvard University, Northeastern University, Suffolk University, University of California, Los Angeles, University of Connecticut, and Yale University.

“We are witnessing a time of student activism not seen in decades, amplified by the power of grassroots social media. The percentage of high school students who plan to walk out would potentially be higher if students were not concerned that their actions would result in penalization from their parents, high schools or the colleges to which they plan on applying. It is also notable that many students are simply not participating because they don’t support the walkout,” said Yariv Alpher, executive director of market research, Kaplan Test Prep.” As a general rule, colleges are supportive of prospective students taking an active role in their communities and standing up for what they believe is right, so long as it is done peacefully. No matter what a student’s beliefs, we commend the critical thinking, initiative and passion that goes into taking an active stance in a very public debate. It’s inspiring to see today’s teens developing as thoughtful, engaged citizens.”

To schedule an interview about Kaplan’s survey results, please contact Russell Schaffer at or 212.453.7538.

*416 high school students from across the United States who who took a Kaplan SAT® course were polled by email between March 12-13, 2018.

SAT® is a trademark registered and/or owned by the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep ( ) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 100 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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