Anti-Masking Protest Targets Redmond High Schoolers | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Anti-Masking Protest Targets Redmond High Schoolers

Protestors are urging students to demand mask use be made optional, and to go on strike this Friday if the district doesn't concede

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People's Rights, an anti-mandate and anti-government conservative activist group, started a 10-day protest at the Nolan Town Center on Jan. 24 aimed at Redmond High School students.

The protest is led by Deschutes County Commission candidate Scott Stuart, who gained notoriety locally after dressing as a Confederate soldier at Redmond's Fourth of July parade in 2021. Protestors have dispersed gift cards and flyers arguing against masking and urging students to speak out against masking, vaccination and mandates.

COURTESY COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA.ORG
  • Courtesy commons.wikimedia.org

One flyer asked students to complain to the principal, attend an event on Tuesday and stage a walkout on Wednesday and Thursday, and if masking is still required, to go on strike and not return to school "until Personal Choice to mask or not is applied."

The Redmond School Board asked the state to return local control to school districts in October and rejected Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline's proposed termination of a fourth-grade teacher who refused to wear a mask. Four members of the Redmond School Board submitted a letter to the Oregon Health Authority in opposition to creating a permanent masking law, which OHA says it is doing just to avoid the technicality of renewing the order every 180 days.

Students who spoke to KTVZ at the protest had mixed reviews. Some said they agreed with it, others didn't and some admitted they were only there for the free gift cards.

"It's our lunch money. I just bought two pounds worth of food at M&W over there, so I mean—it works, it's worth it, but, it's just, it's bogus. They don't need to do this," sophomore Joshua Veracruz told KTVZ.

The protest ends on Feb. 4, when protestors hope a student strike will begin if their demands aren't met. The district's spokesperson told KTVZ they aren't experiencing issues with mask use compliance and that if one occurred the administration is capable of handling it.

About The Author

Jack Harvel

Jack is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and has been making his way west since graduating from the University of Missouri, working a year and a half in Northeast Colorado before moving to Bend in the Spring of 2021. When not reporting he’s either playing folk songs (poorly) or grand strategy video games,...

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