Local Churches Organize Manassas ‘March for Our Lives’ Rally

| March 23, 2018 | 0 Comments | Community

Several local churches have organized a Manassas ‘March for Our Lives’ event, Saturday, 24, at the corner of Sudley Manor Drive and Route 234, Sudley Road, from noon until around 4 p.m.

Bull Run Unitarian Universalists Church announced the event on its Facebook page:

On March 24th there will be a MARCH FOR OUR LIVES Event in Washington DC.

For those who don’t want to go to D.C. several faith groups are sponsoring a MARCH FOR OUR LIVES in Manassas. Our event will be on the corner of Sudley Manor Dr. and Hwy 234. We will start gathering at noon and we hope to stay for several hours.

This link will take you to the event sign-up.

Del. Danica Roem (D-13th) said she will be participating as she feels it is important to support her constituents especially students and teens.

“A lot of local students who I represent decided to participate in the school walkouts,” said Roem,” naming schools such as Patriot, Osbourn Park and Manassas Park Middle School. “No student should be afraid to go to school because they are afraid of being shot.”

She explained that it would not be the first time teens have taken the lead on timely political issues. “In Virginia, students-led protests resulting in change go all the way back to Barbara Johns.”

Johns was a 16-year-old Virginian attending a segregated school when she decided to organize with her peers against segregation and inequality. Her efforts paved the way for Brown vs. Board of Education.

Roem is excited about the dedication and energy of Northern Virginia students who are standing up for safe schools. “I think what the students are doing are wonderful. It’s a really, really good sign for this generation.”

Student activism helped push Prince William County Schools to approve student walkouts on March 14, and even may have influenced local school safety initiatives. Prince William County Schools to set aside $15 million to hire 11 new social workers in its FY19 budget and decided to use end of the year funds to upgrade safety an security infrastructure in older elementary schools.

Most students are also advocating for some stricter gun laws with the intent to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, but not everyone agrees on the solutions.

Organizers of student walkouts said that not everyone has to agree with the solution to school shootings, but they believe there needs to be a national dialogue. They want teens to have a voice in that dialogue.

“Just in the last week in Prince William County there were threats made to schools here,” said Anya Barrett of Marsteller Middle School, speaking during the March 14 walkout. “We must realize that just because we are kids does not mean we are to young to have a voice. We must speak up for change! We all need to work together to find a solution.”

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