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Santa Clarita Valley students, teachers, families and supporters will gather for a “March for Our Lives” rally at Marketplace Park in Valencia on Saturday, March 24, starting at 10 a.m., to demand an end to gun violence in schools.

The SCV march, themed “Demand Safe Schools,” is a “sibling march” in solidarity with the “March for Our Lives” student movement, joining the hundreds of similar rallies planned by students and survivors of gun violence around the country in support of the national rally in Washington, D.C. the same day.

“This march is important to me because our peers are losing their lives,” Ally Sagardia, an SCV rally co-host (with fellow Valencia High School seniors Matthew Sagliocco and Kayla Amara) said in a news release.

“Kids all across the nation are scared to go to school every day,” Sagardia said. “This is not okay and it cannot be considered a ‘new normal.’ I’m looking forward to the march because this event is bigger than us. It’s for those whole feel defenseless and need their voices heard.”

The SCV event will begin with a memorial ceremony honoring the students killed in recent school shootings. A rally will follow, with speakers to include local students and community leaders.

Participants will then march on three routes along the Newhall Ranch Road sidewalk/bike path between McBean Parkway and Bouquet Canyon Road (short route .5 miles; medium route 1.5 miles; long route 2.5 miles). Marchers must stay on sidewalks and abide by pedestrian traffic laws. All routes will conclude back at Marketplace Park.

“This march, organized by a group of local students and teachers, is open to all residents who share our same commitment to safety in our schools and for our students and community,” reads the “Santa Clarita Valley – March for Our Lives” event page on Facebook. “The collective voices of the ‘March for Our Lives’ movement will be heard as we advocate for student safety.”

“We support the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms, as set forth in the United States Constitution,” according to the new DemandSafeSchools.com website, launched late last week.

“But with that right comes common-sense responsibility,” the site reads. “When we work together as a united, nonpartisan force in a common quest to engender safety in our schools, we will be unstoppable. This national day of action will focus on petitioning lawmakers to make students’ lives and safety a priority.”

Rally organizers include student leaders from local private and public high schools and they are still recruiting volunteers. If interested, email info@marchforourlivesscv.com.

Event volunteers can sign up [here].

Organizers have also set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding account with a goal to raise $5,000 to cover permits and other fees, security, signage, accessibility requirements (chair rentals, tents, etc.), and any other costs not donated by the community.

The “Santa Clarita – March For Our Lives” account “is currently managed by a local teacher who is working with the teenagers in charge. Adult support staff will be maintaining accounting records for donations and expenses,” the fund’s page reads.

Marketplace Park is located at 23811 Newhall Ranch Road, corner of Grandview Drive, Valencia 91384.

Parking will be available at five locations: the Real Life Church parking lot; Bridgeport Park; Bridgeport Elementary School; on Grandview Drive; and on Hillsborough Parkway.

Lyft will provide free rides to those attending the rally, as the ride-sharing company has announced it will do for rally attendees nationwide.

At press time, seven food trucks were confirmed to attend.

RSVP for the rally at DemandSafeSchools.com.

SCV "March for Our Lives" student organizers plan the March 24 rally at Marketplace Park in Valencia. Photo: From Facebook.

SCV “March for Our Lives” student organizers plan the March 24 “SCV March for Our Lives” rally at Marketplace Park in Valencia. Photo: From Facebook.

* * * * *

Several local students contributed quotes to the DemandSafeSchools.com website about why they’re organizing and/or participating in the SCV “March for Our Lives” rally.

Julianna Lozada, a Valencia High School sophomore, said: “It’s time for students’ voices to be listened to and acknowledged not only by our teachers and parents but also by people in positions of political power. I am looking forward to the march because civic engagement is something I am very passionate about and want to encourage other students to pursue, to remind those around us that our ideas our valid and deserve to be heard.”

Matthew Sagliocco, a Valencia High School senior, said: “This march is important to me because we’ve waited far too long for those in positions of power to do the right thing. This march will afford us the opportunity to inform students about how to create political change. I’m looking forward to the march because I want to stand in solidarity with the students from Parkland and with everyone who has been impacted by gun violence. I believe in political activism and want to encourage my generation and other generations who have been apathetic on the subject of gun violence.”

Olivia Hurst, a Saugus High School sophomore, said: “This march is important to me because increased gun control is long overdue. I’m so sick and tired of seeing students die because politicians and people in positions of power won’t do anything.”

Hayley Powell, a Valencia High School senior, said: “Politicians are choosing party over people and it’s time for students to take their own lives into their hands.”

Emma Knight, a Valencia High School freshman, said: “This march is important to me because I do not want my future children to grow up believing that a person’s right to own a gun is more important than my own life.”

Joe Defreitas, a Valencia High School senior, said: “I have three younger siblings, two of whom are in elementary school. When I was that age, I didn’t worry about losing my life at school. I was taught that school was a safe environment for learning and growth. But it’s different for my younger siblings. In recent years, I’ve seen my parents struggle to explain the threat of gun violence, not wanting to scare my siblings but needing them to be prepared. I’ll be marching not only because my peers and I deserve to feel safe, but because I want future generations to enjoy school without worrying for their lives.”

Ashley Pagsibigan, West Ranch High School sophomore, said: “I want to march because I think it’s important that every student can come to school knowing they will be safe. Too many lives have been lost too early due to ignorance of firearms. I’m marching for all the students whose lives were taken away and I’m marching for our right to express our opinions on gun control laws. Change will only come if we raise our voices.”

Dylynn Abbey, a Valencia High School senior, said: “I’m looking forward to this march because I want the ones who have been forgotten by most to know that they have not been forgotten by us. I want the people who are standing up to know that we are standing up with them. I’m looking forward to having my voice heard and hopefully, inspiring others to do the same. Education is vital, and it will no longer be threatened.”

Justina Lee, a Valencia High School senior, said: “Gun violence has increased immensely, not only just in schools but everywhere. Our generation and younger generations are growing up with the idea that these shootings are normal. We are continuously taught to duck, run, or be prepared to fight in concerts, markets, schools, and public places. We are at risk everywhere we go. Older generations have seen this as a need to allow more guns for “protection,” but that ideology has failed us. It is time to be heard, which is why I am particularly passionate about this cause and this march. This is our message and our voice to advocate for a better future. The time for change is now.”

A Santa Clarita Valley student displays a note during the March 14, 2018 student walkout. Photo: From Facebook.

A Santa Clarita Valley student displays a note during the March 14, 2018 student walkout, saying he demands “that the politicization of school shootings stops and we solve the problem now.” Photo: From Facebook.

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32 Comments

  1. I urge parents to be cautious. This movement is more about voter registration and indoctrination of our youth than addressing local school security, mental health, and social media bullying.

  2. travis levy says:

    Why is it that people turn to the gun or weapon as the problem. Mine are sitting in a proper locked gun safe not hurting anyone. If a 16 year old obtains a gun and breaks the law how is the guns fault??? If the gun was locked and put away as it should by law then there wouldn’t be an issue. Id go after the parents because a minor can not purchase a gun. Go after the real cause for gun violence its called idiots owning guns. I am for and will vote to stop allowing idiots to own guns.

    • Dave Rickmers says:

      It’s not guns. It’s the way the NRA bullies cowardly legislators. It’s the idiots who want to return us to the days before indoor plumbing and vaccines. They are being exposed.

  3. Jase Yo Jase Yo says:

    I’m sure there will be less support than the school walk out.

    I wonder why 🤔🤔🤔🤔🤔

  4. It was already done on the 14th. Why again? The point was made.

    • Susan Murphy Susan Murphy says:

      The point is not made until gun laws are changed and assault weapons are illegal to buy by the general public.The point is not made until there are no more mass shootings in this country.March 14th was only 17 minutes of remembering those who died in Parkland.This March will be to ask for more gun legislation and greater school safety which I Imagine everyone wants.Please join a local march or get more info on what it is about. It is not about what political party you belong to and it is not about taking away the 2nd amendment.

      • Travis Levy says:

        Susan please provide to us what our California gun laws currently are? I take it you do not own a gun due to you would have gone through the process of registering and the background checks. California has the strictest gun laws in the country. Everyone keeps talking about shootings in other states. Let them worry about their own gun laws and leave us here in California alone.

    • My question is why do the kids do these mass shootings? Mental illness, bullying, problems at home. There are reasons beyond guns. These kids need better mental health facilities to turn to not just drug them up or to be placed in institutions. The signs were everywhere for that kid in Parkland. The school and fbi failed. Blame guns but dont hold the school accountable? Makes no sense.

      • Julianna Lozada says:

        As a student organizer of the march, our march is to: DEMAND SAFE SCHOOLS. There are so many different ways in which we can approach this issue.This march is not solely about guns. Thank you.

    • All guns kill the same way. Just like an assault knife, going at the speed of an arm, blood loss and organ damage. Or a child bleeding our because of an assault vehicle, from staring at their cell phone, while driving. There is an agenda here or all issues would be discussed. I bet you have one of those security cameras on your house offering a false sense of security. Let a couple of intruders invade your home with the intent of killing and robbing your family. You hear them, your heart is pounding so loudly that you can hear it, but you pray that they can’t. Please God, please help me. They’re getting closer, telling you what they’re going to do to your wife or heaven forbid, your daughter. Or let’s say because of an natural disaster or federal aid stopping. What’s going to protect you more? That knife? Camera? Or a tool that you were taught to respect, use and not fear? Face your fears. Take your children to the range, self defence classes. Not everyone lives in a large county, where police response is quick.

    • Susan Murphy Susan Murphy says:

      Laurel Garcia I agree that mental illness and home environment can be contributing to this sad time.However, it is the students who are the targets of these shootings that are leading this country to tighten gun laws and I support them because the older generation and congress has not succeeded so far.

      • Juan says:

        Gun laws are about as effective as drug laws. Step out of the emotional box for moment and try to look at this problem objectively

    • Yes, because if we change the laws (which were in place, where this occurred) criminals won’t be able to obtain a firearm.

    • Laurel, in my opinion, they didn’t have the turnout they expected from the children. So, now the parents are marching with their children, instead of hiding behind them, for their political agenda. Notice, no attention was given to the children who didn’t “play along?” Unless you count the young man from New Prauger that was not allowed his 1st amendment. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s quite telling.

      • Jules Christine says:

        Hello, just wanted to stay, as a student who is an advocate for this march, that I have the capability to form my own political opinions. And in fact, I have. My political views were all formed by myself, through listening to other teens, listening to political leaders, and engaging in debates. Saying that the parents are pushing their political agenda is absurd, coming from a family of mixed political affiliations. Look at Vietnam. Look at Jim Crow segration laws. Who led the marches? Students. It’s embedded in history.

    • Barrie White Barrie White says:

      Susan Murphy assault weapons are illegal to buy.

  5. KJ Slo KJ Slo says:

    Sponsored by George Soros & his sub socialist group! Say no!

  6. Travis Levy says:

    I’m sorry to be an asshole and say this but there will never be an end to humans taking other humans lives. It is impossible due to we do not live in a perfect world nor will it every be. If you did away with every weapon imaginable in this world a person still has the ability to think of something new. Could be a lifted truck going through a crowd of people. Could be another airplane into a building. We do not have a gun problem. More people are killed by drug overdoses, Car accidents and DUI’s then guns. You blame the gun because it cant defend itself and fight back. Blame the person not the gun. How do you fix a problem? You first have to establish what the problem is first in order to correct it.

  7. This is liberal politics using these kids! Wonder what the families of the dead 17 think about gun free zones.

  8. Jeffrey Thompson says:

    Respectfully, machine guns have been illegal for 70 years for good cause. These assault rifles that kill en mass need to be off the streets and common sense gun reform, like universal background checks, now. Blaming everything on “liberal” teaching or mental illness is a sad smoke screen. Let’s also remember the ~60 dead at the country music festival in Vegas.

  9. Well at least it’s not during class time.

  10. Gavin says:

    When is this crew gonna March on Hollywood to protest their glorification of gun violence? Oh right, the NRA is the problem. Got it.

  11. Jake Elite says:

    I am appalled that there are a bunch of people in here that think that these kids want their guns taken away. Also, there are a bunch that also think that these kids in California shouldn’t protest as California has the strictest gun laws. To the elders and gun loving individuals, it baffles me that you guys take more importance of your tools rather than giving these kids a chance to take ownership of a situation that they are directly affected. They are marching to demand safety and not to confiscate your tools. Despite their age, they also have first amendment rights as you also have your second amendment rights. Instead of castigating this event, why not be supportive of them? If you are a gun loving and law abiding individual, what are you worried about? True, California has one of the strictest gun laws because of the violence that the State has experienced (i.e. No. Hollywood shootout) but the vast majority of country isn’t. Remember, they are acting locally in a hope that they cause a ripple effect to the rest of the country. And to the person that suggested that kids should be on a gun range instead, I’m sorry but that is one of the most ridiculous suggestions ever. I have experienced what guns can do and have seen how much lives it has taken including a few friends of mine. I have seen the devastation it has caused a country. I have seen dead bodies lying on the ground after a gun fight. Did you ever wonder why there are so many soldiers who suffer from PTSD? Guns are not for everyone. You chose to exercise that right and so be it. As we have rights, we also have the responsibility to make sure that it doesn’t cause any harm to our fellow men. Respect begets respect. We were youth once and had our idealism’s too. As an elder to these youths who have sought our wisdom, is it not proper that we also listen to them?

  12. Jan Daly says:

    We are there to support efforts. Keep our children safe.

  13. Judy Reinsma says:

    I agree with Jake completely. This is being done in support of the young people across our country who do not live in states with any restrictions on who can own any kind of weapon they wish. Like he said, we don’t allow machine guns. Why can’t we have sensible laws to remove weapons of war from our nation’s streets. We are killing our own children by this refusal to be sensible. No one wants to take guns away from hunters, those protecting their property, but assault rifles, bump stocks? They should be illegal, period.

  14. Lee Souleles says:

    SCVTV- this is is best you can do? No coverage of our March For Our Lives in Santa Clarita on Saturday, March 24th? 3000 concerned citizens reported to have attended and nothing from local media? I’m truly disappointed.

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