Attendees filled the gym at Redmond's Ridgeview High School to ask questions and hear Merkley speak.
Ridgeview student Jordan Schmidt asked the first question, asking Merkley about his views on teachers stating partisan views in the classroom.
"I've never been asked that," Merkley said, answering that a discussion of both sides of political arguments would be a healthy way to talk about politics in the classroom.
Other questions from the audience included concerns about the defunding of the Environmental Protection Agency, the funding of Medicare and Social Security, the sale of public lands and support for undocumented people in the U.S.
Senator Merkley also opened the town hall by introducing Alison Perry from the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch.