It has been one week. The surreal string of heart-wrenching funeral services is winding down. The Sandy Hook children who survived have been placed in another school, and they will return in January. There is the facade of movement and activity in Newtown, Connecticut, but down deep, there is deep-seated grief and the inextinguishable memories of the 26 wonderful human beings gone too soon. It will be a long while before the families and educators will feel anything close to right again. But there are ways we can help and hasten the day when it hurts a little less.
In the days following the tragedy, the Newtown Patch, the town's online newspaper, has provided tireless coverage, and this list provides links to memorial funds for many of the Sandy Hook victims.
Donation information for memorial funds, links to United Way resources, and a link to an online card for Newtown make up this list from USA Today.
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma and his wife made the first donation of $80,000 to provide financial aid and scholarships for survivors of the Newtown tragedy, as well as children of the adults who lost their lives. The memorial scholarships will be available to those who are accepted to UConn when the time comes. Donation information is included.
First proposed by NBC News correspondent Ann Curry, #26acts has been trending on Twitter, and people all over the world have started doing 26 random acts of kindness to honor Sandy Hook's 26 victims. This Buzzfeed post highlights just a few.
A project has been started to get students around the country to make paper snowflakes, which will be placed in the new building when Sandy Hook staff and students return in January.
A Renewed Discussion Surrounding School Safety
Meanwhile, beyond the immediate community, the search for a way forward is underway. The White House is preparing a program of actions and legislation. States are likewise beginning to debate the alternatives. Pundits and everyday citizens are holding forth, and the opinions range far and wide. What matters most is that we, who are committed to improving schools and education, stay informed, and not stay silent. Here is some of what is unfolding.
Legislation has been proposed in eight states to allow guns in schools, either by security officers or by school personnel. Yet, a counterpoint response from TIME posted Friday said "Arming teachers isn't the answer."
A Gallup poll conducted during the week since the tragedy showed a number of different strategies Americans think would prevent future shootings, including 53 percent who said there should be an increased law enforcement presence on school campuses. Half of those polled also said that there should be increased mental health screening and treatment services from the federal government.
At a press conference Friday morning, CEO Wayne LaPierre of the NRA said the organization supports armed security in the nation's schools, and he added the group will found a program to help protect schools. Later in the day, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence issued a statement asking members of the NRA to join them in their efforts.
Friday morning, President Obama responded to a We The People petition calling for immediate action on gun control legislation. The petition has been signed by nearly 200,000 people.Additional coverage provided by Matt Davis, editorial assistant.