Skip to Content

Redmond Proficiency Academy students stage walkout to oppose gun violence, back legislation

Students stand in solidarity to promote change

(Update: Adding video, comments from walkout organizers and participants)

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- “I have a right to an education. I have a right to be safe in a place of learning. I have a right to go school and not be scared of my life being taken from me," Juniper Rook proclaimed Wednesday morning as a crowd of people joined her in protest of gun violence.

Students from Redmond Proficiency Academy and supporters, about 50 in total, gathered and walked to Centennial Park at 11 a.m. in an organized walkout, with the added goal of backing legislation to combat the problem.

The organizers of the event, Juniper Rook and Isabelle Richards, are sophomores at the school and have been involved in various social justice matters.

“Our biggest concern would definitely be guns in the wrong hands," Richards said. "We’re less concerned about people who are, like, wanting to use hunting as a sport and that kind of stuff. And we’re more concerned about the lack of control and the lack of legislation we have around guns. We want to make sure we’re having harsher punishments for people who are, you know, buying and selling guns illegally.”

Stephen Schaffer, a host at of KPOV Community Radio, showed up in support of the students' cause.

“We need more control!" he said.

Schaffer shared the following with NewsChannel 21:

"We are proud of (the students') commitment to bravely & confidently stand for stronger adherence to gun laws that provide for their right to an education in safe schools for all Oregon students. As concerned citizens and volunteers at Redmond's winter shelter & at KPOV 88.9 FM Community Radio for all of Central Oregon, we support and join students in their demand  for safe schools. 

After a false alarm last month about a person with a gun at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, the Oxford High School shooting in Michigan and the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict, the students want to promote greater awareness about the issue.

Olivia O’Rourke is a sophomore participant who is passionate about the cause.

“Not enough people talk about how many people it actually affects," she said. "And it’s all over the country, and not enough people seem to care enough to actually do something about it and promote change in these communities."

Redmond City Councilor Clifford Evelyn also joined in support of the cause.

“It’s important that we understand that guns do cause problems in our community -- okay, and our society," he said.

The students gathered signatures asking Oregon's congressional representatives to support the following bills: HR4271, the Keeping Gun Dealers Honest Act, and HR1642, the Prosecuting Gun Crimes Act, to curb gun violence.  

They asked walkout attendees to sign letters in support of both bills, to be sent to Reps. Suzanne Bonamici, Peter DeFazio, Cliff Bentz and Kurt Schrader.

The students argued that the bills do not seek to take guns from law-abiding Americans, only to prosecute those who are selling, owning and buying guns illegally.

Rook said an email was sent out to the campus student body that the walkout was an act of civil disobedience. She also shared the walkout wouldn't be necessary if the people in power and in the community were supporting and protecting students.

"I'd rather perform an act of civil disobedience to fight for the safety that I deserve and need than stay quiet," she declared through her megaphone.

Noa Binder, another participant in the walkout, stood in agreement.

 "If you don't change it, who else is?" she said.

Author Profile Photo

Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.

Comments

79 Comments

  1. Here’s a homework assignment for the RPA students. Please total the number of federal, Oregon, and local laws or regulations pertaining to purchasing, storing, or carrying a firearm. Then research gun violence crimes in Oregon and see how many of those federal, state, or local laws were broken during those crimes.

    Then prepare a short essay of 250 words on whether the problem is really a lack of laws or is it that criminals by definition do not follow laws. Discuss.

      1. Students ask for less gun violence in schools. So the pro-gun-violence crowd trips all over themselves to shout them down and discredit them. I stand with the kids, who just want to get through math class without getting shot. Kudos to those kids, who knew you would be here doing this, and stood up for themselves anyway. They are brave, and they should be heard.

        1. Thanks for providing another great example of emotional fear mongering with zero use of logic. Clearly you do stand with these children as your critical thinking skills are the same.

        2. since there is no such thing as a pro-gun-violence crowd it appears you have no argument. HHmmm – I wonder just how many thousands and thousands of kids are getting through math class without getting shot… including those of us on here….

    1. Do you have a Bachelors degree? Or a Masters? Can you teach curriculum in Oregon? Of course you don’t. So go **** yourself.

      These kids are kids and don’t need to research gun violence; let the parents teach them. They need to study earth science, government, physical education.

      My son attends RPA and I support him 100%.

      Let kids be kids.

      You with all your years of life are telling a kiddo to have your arbitrarily assigned homework assignment about gun violence?

      1. Having a kid in school doesn’t prequalify you as an expert on gun issues. If you have something substantive to say on this topic, then say it instead of appealing to the irrelevant.

        1. I am a gun owner and the proud parent of a kiddo at RPA. There is a serious problem with kids having access to guns via seriously irresponsible gun owners.

          13 years in the military, not that it means anything. Gun control needs to happen. Hapless parents let their kids have free reign and others end up killed.

          I will own this 100%, if you want guns in your home, keep them in a safe.

          If you need a quick sidearm, then find out how to ******* defend yourself.

    1. And the percentage of gun crimes committed by concealed carry permits holders is…..wait for it. Might want to do a little data research so you can have an informed opinion son.

      1. Taking guns away from human beings that make poor decisions reduces murder rates. Yes, concealed weapons permit holders have a low rate of homicide but it still happens. Look at murder rates in other developed countries with strict gun control and a pattern emerges. Guns are for babies!

        1. Not surprised, you didn’t look at or know the data. “It still happens”? Really? The percentage doesn’t even raise to a calculable statistic. Good try bud.

        2. How about we take away cars also? Because people kill others with cars sometimes. Might as well make everybody wear a helmet to drive also.

        3. You mean the ones that are about to get overrun by the Russians? The same ones who have authoritarian regimes a couple times a century, where we need to go and intervene militarily and economically, because they’re unable to stop tyranny?

          Yeah nah. Go move there. You’ll be fine. Buh bye.

        1. If you chose this unfounded angry and bitter view of the world, then you too will be angry, bitter, and uninformed. If you view everything through a racial prism, you might end up woke, but you’ll never be truly awake nor joyous. Let it go and stop with the everything is racist mantra. If not, you’ll be constantly pissed off by your faulty framing. It’s time for a real wake up instead of a woke up.

    2. Jonasty- such an ignorant comment. Are you confusing criminals without permits, carring guns in their pockets with permitted citizens carrying concealed.
      Criminals don’t care about laws if you haven’t noticed.
      Please try to understand the difference.

      1. Yes!
        It seems like he’s in favor of removing guns from the hands of all persons. Correct me if I’m wrong by all means. But that’s what it seems like.
        I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the term shooting fish in a barrel. But if we do that I think you will be! The fact of the matter is that criminals or persons who have made up their minds to commit a crime don’t first consult your opinion or any law. They either already possess or will do what needs to be done to get what they need to do what they’re going to do. The fact of the matter is that with our weak border control there is nothing standing in the way from keeping anything from coming in so you will just be disarming the law-abiding populace. This isn’t ho-hum Redmond anymore. Highway 97 is a major throughfair anything gets here if they want it to.

    3. Yeah, good luck with that, bub. I know quite a few people in Deschutes county who carry concealed, including a few teachers. And no, I am not going to say who they are. The bottom line is, some laws or regulation made or promoted by liberals are not sensible and should be ignored.

      1. And that is the whole positive point – nobody knows who has a concealed on board, nobody needs to know, and especially those who might go into a panic and create an issue if they knew…

    1. How many Active Shooter drills did you have to do during your time in public school? Kids in the US have good reason to support common-sense gun legislation. Our country has more school shootings than anywhere else in the world, and the groups that call themselves “pro life” won’t do a thing to help reduce the killing of children in schools because “mUh sEcOnD aMeNdMeNt!”

      1. The availability of guns has not notably changed between now and the earlier time frame that you reference. That means other things have fundamentally changed – why are so many kids suddenly having the desire or willingness to kill their classmates? Guns do not cause that desire and targeting law-abiding gun owners with more regulation is a band-aid at best. This approach treats a symptom rather than providing a cure. Try looking beneath the surface and digging a bit deeper before forming your opinions. You also might want to check your shift and caps lock keys. One or both seem to be malfunctioning.

      2. I’m pretty sure that it’s more beneficial to have teachers who choose to carry concealed (and who are trained in using their gun) than to just cower under desks and hope that the active shooter doesn’t choose YOU as their target.

      3. And we also have less dictatorships and autocracies that pop up a couple times a century as well. Where do you think the 2nd Amendment came from? Ever read the English Bill of Rights? I wonder why they had a right to bear arms in their Bill of Rights… hmmmm. Maybe tyrants that would periodically kick down their doors?

  2. “We want to make sure we’re having harsher punishments for people who are, you know, buying and selling guns illegally.”

    If they are only after “illegal guns” I assume there next walk out will focus on fortifying our porous southern border, increasing prosecution and jail time for burglary and theft, and increasing police budgets in urban areas where these guns are funneled into.

  3. Never been a fan of RPA. I see the kids walking all over downtown, when they should have their butts in school. “Fear of my life being taken from me”. Try protesting for teenage drinking or drug use, they both kill more kids than guns. I see Redmond heading right down the toilet like Bend did. Time to move to Joseph, or better yet rural Montana.

    1. Antifa’s a myth. That’s something concocted by the fear mongers on the Right. As much as I can’t stand the Left, the Right is oftentimes utterly delusional.

  4. These children need to research the penalties for weapons violation, how many people are charged with a weapons violation, and then whether the charges where applied or dropped. All the laws on the books are mute if not applied. Use your 1st to protect your 2nd because they WILL use their 1st to remove your 2nd if given a chance.

  5. People who buy and sell guns illegally do not care about the law. People who commit crimes with guns also dont care about the law. More laws arent going to stop criminals. RPA has become a little liberal activist training school. I’m curious as to how they have so much money to continually run advertising on tv and radio as a public school. Can’t say I have heard an ad for redmond high lately.

  6. What does any of this have with the Rittenhouse verdict? He was legal, end of story. We don’t need more gun laws, they only hurt law abiding citizens. Someone remind these kids, that they’re kids, and their brains have not fully developed.

    1. “Guns are for the weakest among us”

      Let’s drill down on that thought right there because there is an element of truth to it – even if it’s not what you think it is.

      Guns are in fact an equalizer for the “weak” as you call them: minorities, the elderly, the disabled, those of smaller stature lacking physical fighting skills, even the majority of women (when confronting a male adversary).

      Therefore, your thought that those “weak” people should be entirely disarmed pushes society towards openly victimizing those that can’t otherwise defend themselves. That’s a heartless and insensitive attitude.

  7. I understand that they don’t want to get shot. But do they really think illegal arms dealers will stop because these kids staged a walkout? Lol. They should be protesting bullies not guns. I don’t think the kids have rights. They get those when they grow up lol.

  8. Gun violence? Fist violence? Knife violence? SUV violence (CNN)? nah, only guns can get up and kill you on their own without a human committing the violence. Such a joke. Its all about control. Now more than ever we need our 2A. The government is literally taking away your rights and imposing actual medical procedures on you while our 1A has been under attack labeled as “misinformation” and “controversial” while silencing all of its opposition on line and making efforts to attack and remove all dissent. If they take away your 1A you better have your 2A to defend yourself and your country. Just take a look at Australia. Those poor poor people are being taken away to camps and beaten in the streets for not allowing a needle in their arm. What did Australia do to them prior? Took away their guns. Now look at them. Defenseless

  9. Listen to what this poor young girl said, “we need more control”. Say that again. She said this after living here the last 2yrs. She wants more control. This is what we are facing America. Parent your kids to love America and her God given and protected freedoms or when you are older there will be no one to defend it.

  10. Maybe the RPA students should consider harsher penalties for those who commit crimes with a gun? Perhaps a mandatory enhanced sentence would make people think twice before using a firearm to commit crimes? You know, like, it could actually work

  11. “Our biggest concern would definitely be guns in the wrong hands,” Richards said. “We’re less concerned about people who are, like, wanting to use hunting as a sport and that kind of stuff. And we’re more concerned about the lack of control and the lack of legislation we have around guns. We want to make sure we’re having harsher punishments for people who are, you know, buying and selling guns illegally.”

    After reading the above statements, the students should be more concerned about
    their lack of ability to speak intelligently.
    Typical liberal idiocy. Making broad demands for change with no intelligent suggestions.

    1. It does sound like a chopped up speech that has already been said from another anti rally. Nothing new just words that have been picked through because the pot hasn’t been stirred for a bit. Doesn’t seem like the kids know how to do any research. Everything that they want is already a law at either a state or federal level.

  12. 80,000,000 MILLION unarmed people have been murdered by communist socialist dictators over the last century. We will never be disarmed and I will legally carry anywhere I please everyday. Disarming good people gives bad people the control to do whatever they want to the disarmed. If you want to stop gun violence stop promoting it in video games and movies. Stop promoting prescribed drugs for people that causes sycosis and mental instability. Through the decriminalizing of what was illegal drugs has also caused more mental illness. We have seen a general breakdown of society with fatherless children, drug addiction, violent entertainment, the welfare state, corrupt politicians and a push towards the same communist rules that caused the murder of millions. The push to disarm is promoted by bad individuals who want control over us. Lastly… criminals don’t obey laws so don’t penalize good people for bad peoples actions.

  13. “I have a right to go school and not be scared of my life being taken from me,” Juniper Rook proclaimed Wednesday morning as a crowd of people joined her in protest of gun violence.”

    Then I suggest you support prosecuting individuals who commit crimes, oppose ALL violence and set a good example. Guns are a tool of violent people, not the cause.

    1. “Guns are a tool of violent people, not the cause.”

      That sums it up perfectly. It’s so obvious but yet goes so unacknowledged by those pushing this agenda.

  14. Welcome to woke America. I bet there was a teacher behind this demonstration if you are not happy with America and protecting the rights you have! maybe try to move to a new country with more strict laws that align with your feelings.

  15. Just what will HR 4271 and HR 1642 do that laws already on the books won’t do? Most of the time felon in possession charges are dropped during plea bargain. If they are not dropped, the penalty is usually probation. Whose decision is that? It is also a little hard to prohibit a person who passes a background check from purchasing a gun that he later uses when he goes off his rocker. Also do we need legislation to protect us from false alarms?

  16. Liberal journalism is at work here. Bringing up a false alarm when someone mistakes a ballpoint pen to a gun and a case where the jury unanimously agreed over a self defense case is just pure ignorance.
    Bravo KTZV, you always beat your previous lowest of the low…

  17. No matter the personal views, we can all learn from these kids. This was a peaceful protest that got recognition and created conversations. After viewing the comments, these kids demonstrated more maturity than the adults chiming in. Kudos to you RPA students! Keep modeling positive methods to advocate for change!

  18. Todays lesson kids: Useless Virtue Signaling. How to act like your are doing something to “feel good” about yourself but not actually accomplish anything. You’ll make good liberals when you graduate and become an adult demanding the government solve any and all problems you may have in the future but most importantly KEEP YOU SAFE!!!!

Leave a Reply

Skip to content