Event, proclamation planned for one-year anniversary of Saugus High shooting

Thousands gather at Central Park for the Saugus Strong Vigil on Nov. 17, 2019, just three days after a fatal shooting at Saugus High School. Cory Rubin/The Signal
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Nearly one year has passed since the deadly Saugus High School shooting, and healing is ongoing. In observance of the recovery journey and to continue the support for all those affected, local organizers are preparing to debut special programming on Nov. 14. 

Santa Clarita City Council members are expected Tuesday to proclaim the anniversary — Nov. 14 — as Unity of Community Day and the proclamation “encourages members of the community to observe the day by attending a virtual remembrance event.”

The proclamation is set to come ahead of the Unity of Community event in which a video produced by Saugus High’s Saugus News Network is expected to air at 6 p.m. on Nov. 14, featuring different speakers, music and other remembrance content, according to Dave Caldwell, spokesman of the William S. Hart Union High School District. 

“A committee has been formed,” he said, adding that the group behind the event consists of local families, city officials and members of the school district. “What happened a few days after (the shooting) showed how amazing the Santa Clarita community is. So many people came together and that was the main theme (of the event), that we just want to continue to stay together and heal.” 

On Nov. 14 a Saugus High School student opened fire on classmates while on campus, fatally shooting two students and injuring three others before turning the gun on himself. 

“(I)n the immediate wake of the shooting, the campus community, neighbors and strangers came to the aid of students, faculty, staff and administrators,” reads the proclamation. 

Those on campus scrambled to safely evacuate to Central Park and reunite with their families. Three days later, thousands returned to remember slain students Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell and mourn together. 

The park has become a “central location” and the place where organizers of the Unity of Community Day event would have, ideally, liked to hold the event. 

“The idea was to bring everyone together at a central location such as Central Park but obviously with COVID, we can’t do that,” said Caldwell. 

That’s where the virtual idea came to fruition. In addition to the programming, the Hart District has also scheduled a “Wellness Week,” featuring online activities and resources, such as yoga, gardening and positive messages from students. 

The district is expected to release next week the link to the video, which will also be shared on its social media on Nov. 14, said Caldwell. 

For more information and updates, visit hartdistrict.org

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