Topic of conversation: FOX’s Glee takes on gun violence – with a twist

This week on Facebook we wanted to hear what our community thought about last Thursday’s episode of Glee. The episode featured a storyline about gun violence that included Lauren Potter‘s character, Becky, bringing a gun to school as part of a stroyline that had her scared about her future after high school. Becky didn’t intend to fire the gun, but accidentally set off two shots while handing it over to teacher and friend Sue Sylvester.

Photo courtesy people.com

We echo the sentiment of our friends at the National Down Syndrome Society who said, “Taking a gun to school is something very serious and would likely come with a mental health condition. That’s not appropriate for someone with Down syndrome and not a stigma they need.” We also recognize, as some have noted in articles since the episode aired, that the story can be seen as an attempt to fully integrate Becky’s character. And of course it goes without saying that Potter’s acting deserves much praise, regardless of the content or your feelings about it.

A few of our Facebook friends shared their opinions:

“Do not watch this show…but I do think it was a poor choice for this character to grab a gun to defend from a bully. My daughter would never have made such a choice. It does no favor to the reputation of those with Down syndrome. Just shaking my head wondering what where they thinking?”

 

“I did watch this and was very upset. My high school students even hated that the show portrayed Becky in this way. Makes me sick!”

 

“I don’t watch the show either, and this episode goes to show why. I wish another producer would pick up this lovely actress and she would get off of this show.”

What is your take on last week’s Glee? Take a moment to read the stories surrounding it and jump over to our Facebook post to join the conversation:

The inspiration behind Bike Camp

Each year the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp helps 40 kids with disabilities learn how to ride a convential two-wheel bike – an important milestone in any child’s life. In this week’s blog, Suzie Cox talks about why the bike camp was started and why it’s so important to keep it going.

Lydia Faith Cox was born February 15, 2006 and passed away October 25, 2009.  She taught us all so much in the three short years we were blessed to have her with us. The small milestones she achieved brought such joy. The day did come that she was able to walk, communicate and play with her brothers, cousins, grandparents, mom and dad. OH! How proud she was when she learned to walk on her own. She had such determination and perseverance, not even falling down would stop her. She had that ability to not give up and accomplished whatever small or large task it was she was trying to achieve.

Lydia’s determination is why her family chose hosting a bike camp as a way to honor her and keep her “don’t give up” spirit with us. She would have learned to ride that bike and given us that beautiful smile when she did it on her own. She would have been just as proud to see her peers learn along with her, urging them, “Do not give up. Keep going! We can do this together!”

We founded The Lydia Faith Cox Family Foundation after her death in 2009. The money raised from the foundation’s golf tournament, originally hosted by Keith Louis, would no longer go towards medical needs. Rather, this money would be used to help children with Down syndrome and other disabilities learn to ride a two wheel bike through the Lose the Training Wheels method developed by Dr. Richard E. Klein. The foundation raised $11,000 in its first year as a 501(c)3 charitable organization, and that money went to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis to host the Lydia Cox Memorial Bike Camp.

As Lydia’s mother, I look forward to this week all year.  The joy on the faces of 40 kids and parents as they reach the end of the week and achieve a milestone most of them never thought would happen is priceless.  To see them outside zipping around on a brand new bike, riding on two wheels, laughing and yelling, “Mom, Dad, look at me!”  makes the fundraising, volunteer searching and everything that goes in to organizing the camp worth it.  If you have never experienced a bike camp, please volunteer or come by and visit.

This year’s camp is scheduled for June 3 – 7 at South Technical High School. Through the foundation’s support, the Down Syndrome As
sociation is able to partner with iCan Shine (formerly Lose the Training Wheels) and its bike program, iCan Bike, to host this extraordinary camp in St. Louis every year in Lydia’s honor.

For more information about Bike Camp or to volunteer,
visit: http://dsagsl.org/programs-resources/educational-programming/.

Blog announcement: Ask Megan!

For the past few weeks, the DSAGSL has had the pleasure of having one of our awesome self-advocates, Megan, in our office as a volunteer on Friday mornings. She’s been a tremendous help and great addition to the office – but not just because of her great work effort and personality.

Megan loves to talk, and she loves to help people with advice. Once she expressed interest in helping us blog by having an advice column, we had a brainstorm session. We decided to dedicate one video blog per week to Megan so she can answer questions (about anything!) and give advice to anyone who needs it – and so Ask Megan was born!

Each week we will collect questions from our community online and on Friday Megan will answer as much as she can in her video blog. Got a question? Send it over! Post to our Facebook wall or email michelle@dsagsl.org.