First responders must be supported. It's critical that they remain at the top of their game -- for themselves -- and for all of the children and families that count on them during times of trauma.
We, as parents, can play a role in preventing violence at our schools. We are not powerless. We do not have to wait on institutions that are slow-moving and hard to influence -- specifically, the federal government and national media -- to care for America's children.
I hope I won't feel this way every time I leave my children in someone else's care now. I hope this overwhelming anxiety is not the new normal.
I left the building remembering why I love teens and have chosen to work with them. They are intense. They are emotional. They are capable of great connection.
When did we as a nation allow the right to bear arms to supersede children's right to bear dreams? There are more gun dealers in our nation than there are houses of worship. When did the hunger for weapons outstrip our hunger to glimpse God's dream for us as a people?
Do we want a God who is all-powerful or all-loving? We can't have both and be satisfied with a God who permits the Holocaust, genocide, war and tsunamis.
When I return to work on January 7, students and I will debate the viability of gun control. Invariably, one of them will ask me whether I believe teachers should -- as some politicians are now suggesting -- be allowed or required to carry guns while they teach.
As we enter 2013, the acute pain of the Sandy Hook massacre is beginning to recede. While some people yearn to move on, others vow never to forget. As part of the healing process, I suggest we do both. Action aimed at creating something meaningful can go a long way toward recovery.
While the spotlight is on gun policy, we must recognize the uniqueness of American society, and thus the necessarily unique solutions to our problems.
Gun proponents continue to surrender fire arms into the possession of the bad guys, pathetically offering, "If we just had more good guys out there... " But the good guys can't be everywhere, and for that, my heart breaks for America.
It has been the heaviest and darkest December in both the countries I have had the honor to call my home. And yet I have never seen so many feel the pain of others so deeply, and so honestly. I hope we will not forget what we are feeling today.
Tompkins is so caught up in maintaining his 2nd Amendment privilege that he lost sight of what really mattered here.
After the Newtown shooting, in the rush to put information, any information, out to the public, and in this world of 24-hour news cycles, journalistic integrity and the truth went out the window faster than a cute kitten picture spreads across the Internet.
Although the NRA has addressed only educational institutions, it would surely agree that there should be armed guards in all movie theaters in the country and, given the recent shooting in Portland, Oregon, at all shopping malls.
I am concerned that some of these efforts have rendered people like me -- nonreligious Americans -- invisible. And sadly, the idea that godlessness inspires or allows for a tragedy of this nature isn't a new phenomenon.
As reports of Columbine spread around America and soon took it by storm, the country began a process of investigating the motives behind the killers. Just as with Sandy Hook, the how was much more obvious than the why.