If we intensify the policing of schools without eliminating racial disparities in criminal justice, we will only intensify the burden some children are forced to bear in the name of saving others.
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.
While the spotlight is on gun policy, we must recognize the uniqueness of American society, and thus the necessarily unique solutions to our problems.
I refuse to believe that anything is too complex to resolve. I seek a community of those of who believe we can change and are willing to do something about it.
Out of, it seems, nowhere, we are having right now a new national discussion about guns, mental health, and violence because through a terrible act Adam Lanza brought his denial of reality back into our reality with a vengeance.
The problem isn't the fundamental premise the NRA worked from but, rather, the specifics of the proposal. Placing an armed guard in every school wastes resources, won't prevent violence, and misunderstands the role of police in schools.
A fact-of-life in America today is that people keep guns in their homes. Maybe you don't have guns in your house, but other parents do. So, it makes sense for parents to ask about guns every time they drop their children off for a playdate, or sleepover, or birthday party.
You know the world is topsy-turvy when, on a Monday morning, you find it more heart-wrenching to send your child off to kindergarten than to bring her twin sister to a pediatric cancer clinic for chemotherapy.
Instead of responding by saying no to the culture of violence, we are apparently responding by arming ourselves with more weapons. If that cycle of violence and fear is having such a deep psychological impact on adults, how do we expect our children to navigate or survive it?
If it's not about guns, as the gun lobby suggests, let's ask the lobby's allies in Congress to support a comprehensive overhaul and expansion of our system for providing a full range of mental health services to everyone who needs them.
We can start with gun control legislation. President Obama is in his second term and now is in a position to take action. Public opinion is on his side. Let's put pressure on our legislators to make sure this happens.
Our first responsibility as parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents is to protect our children from gun violence at any cost. That primary responsibility trumps anyone's Second Amendment rights to bear arms that endanger our kids' safety.
We talked about the Second Amendment this week in my Civics classes. In a normal term we spend very little time on it, as there aren't many interesting legal questions involved - nothing like free speech or The Church of Lakumi Babalu Aye vs. City of Hialeah, that most euphoniously named of Supreme Court cases.
When you feel broken, the heart is actually more alive than ever. And in these moments -- in this moment, as painful as it is -- we have the opportunity to lose our minds so that we can come to our senses.
Which is worse: to stigmatize or to allow people to be at large with a risk of doing serious harm to others? We have a twin problem -- access to guns at large and access to guns by deranged actors, who are, or should be, known by society to exist.
Most human beings have a weird, yet totally normal way of coping with trauma -- especially when we are bystanders to things that happen on a national level. Psychologically, we tend to go through a three-part process.