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Student Protest

A small group of Corvallis students gathered outside the Benton County Courthouse to protest gun violence on Friday.

Around two dozen Corvallis students gathered at the Benton County Courthouse Friday afternoon to protest gun violence in schools.

Crescent Valley High School juniors Elise Steinberg and Madeleine Guillaumot organized the protest after hearing about a threat of violence at Corvallis High School, which was supposedly set to occur Friday.

Guillaumot said many of her peers had chosen to stay home from school on Friday out of fear, and organizing the protest gave them a way to express their frustration with gun violence in schools.

"We wanted to give them a chance to speak out and take action," she said.

Steinberg said the protesting students didn't have a particular policy they were advocating for, but the protesters generally were supportive of more gun control.

"Everyone has their own specific opinions," said Guillaumot.

She added that she was pleased with the turnout, considering she and Steinberg began organizing the protest at 10 p.m. Thursday, primarily through social media.

Steinberg said the protesters included students from Crescent Valley, Corvallis High and Cheldelin Middle School.

Guillaumot said many students assume a school shooting could never happen anywhere as safe as Corvallis, but the threat at Corvallis High School made the possibility seem more substantial.

"In Corvallis it's not something we expect to happen... but this event had made it more real," she said.

Matt Boring, principal of Corvallis High School, said around 67 percent of the school's students were absent Friday. Authorities said on Thursday that they had tracked down the source of the threat, which was found Wednesday scrawled on a bathroom wall at the school, and did not believe it was credible. 

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