Friday, April 12, 2013

An Open Letter Concerning Glee's ep. "Shooting Star"

Last night the television show Glee premiered a new episode entitled "Shooting Star." 

In this episode they detailed the thoughts and feelings surrounding a school shooting type situation. While I do think that parts of this show were well done, and a lot of raw feelings and emotions were well displayed, I had a huge issue with the way they concluded the show. 

**Spoiler Alert for those who have not yet watched it**

In the end, it was the student Becky, who has Down's Syndrome, who had brought her father's gun to school and accidentally fired shots. The reasoning they gave was that she was scared to move on from high school and that no one would protect her in the real world. 

I have a sister who is MID (Mildly Intellectually Disabled) and has been in special ed programs all her life. My family and I have had the opportunity to meet and have involved in our lives many others who share a similar situation or mental disability. 

I wanted to like this episode very badly. And parts of it I certainly did. I loved that there were a lot of poignant moments between the students. But the ending was so upsetting to me that I simply cannot get past it. 

My mother wrote the following open letter to the creators of the show. If you feel the same, I urge you to share this and send it along to them as well, to show that this type of thing is upsetting, hurtful, and even damaging to society. 

As she said herself, 

"Thanks, Glee, for picking on the last segment of society unable to defend themselves.


To The Writers and Producers of GLEE....

It makes me ANGRY and sad that this show who has championed the rights of gay, bisexual, and physically handicapped kids should now show a mentally handicapped Down syndrome child doing something so unlikely. In my personal 26+ years of knowing and being around them, none of them have shown the slightest proclivity to do such a thing. 

Shame. On. GLEE.

Every one of the mildly intellectually disabled (MID) people I have known shy away from such things. 
But, Thanks A Lot, GLEE. Who knows what damage you have inflicted with this? I was watching with my own 26 year old music-loving, choir-singing MID daughter after American Idol was on. Thanks a whole lot--NOT. I'm incredibly sad today and hurt more than I can say....

Her Mom

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