I don’t particularly think these characters are significant, so I can’t really make a judgment as to whether they truly understood Keating’s message. I assume they did to a certain extent, but their characters aren’t really developed enough to sufficiently determine if they did or didn’t.
Meeks and Pitts seem to have some romantic tendencies. At the beginning of the movie (in one of the extra scenes), both receive demerits for talking in line. They also make a radio and dance to the music while others engage in structured activities or schoolwork.
Both are also meek and submissive, and agree to what Neil and especially what Nwanda says. Both also have names that are commented on – “the meek shall inherit the earth”, “rather unfortunate name,” “rise above your name.” Pitts is also the first to read his “principle of romanticism.” – “O to struggle against great odds, to meet enemies undaunted,” which again could refer to his name. (Meeks also reads a principle of romanticism. – “To dance, clap hands, exalt, shout, skip, roll on, float on.”)
At the first DPS meeting, Meeks reads The Congo while Pitts reads William Bloat.
Both stand on their desks to show support for Keating at the end.