I discovered it’s prom season by the recent now viral video posted by Shaedon Wedel, a senior at Newton High School in Newton, Kansas, who asked Carlie Wittman, 15, to be his prom date. Two things are not incidental to his story: Carlie has Down syndrome, Shaedon does not. Shaedon is holding a big bag of Doritios, Carlie’s favorite chips, as he asks her to the prom. If the product placement isn’t clear enough he is also wearing a t-shirt with the Doritos logo on it. This is a orchestrated scene likely videotaped by one of the parents involved. If you must watch it you will have to look elsewhere. It’s as easy to find as mold spores.
Some people insist on seeing this as a “feel good” video at a time when we really, really, really need to feel good. Sea World is for people like this. See the big fish splash! See the girl with Down syndrome get asked out on a prom date!
I got into a bit of an argument on a Facebook page about the video. I’m going to write that sentence a 100 times on a chalkboard later to make sure I never do it again. I stated I would love the video if the girl with Down syndrome was in on IT. I would consider that inclusion. I get kids and even adults wanting to be a part of a viral video. Think of The Balloon Boy.
A girl being asked out for prom is not a news story no matter her chromosomal count or her proclivity for Doritos. And– I’m not going to feel differently about this after I get over being angry as a person suggested on the aforementioned Facebook page. I expect more for Thorin than hoping someday a typically developing peer will concoct a potentially viral video scenario that lauds their contrived unselfish act and makes people say: Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
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