What Constitutes “Support” from Parent Support Groups in a Situation Like This? – From the Archives
This post was originally published 3/25/13
With that being said…. I am extremely disappointed with the lack of action thus far from the local group (which Patti started) and the national groups. I know Patti, and if something like this happened to someone who was affiliated with our group “back in the day,” she would have had us organized and out there. I can imagine candle light-vigils, sit-ins, media and letter writing campaigns, and who knows what else. A few simple posts on Facebook and press release would not have been sufficient. Not to mention that she would not have waited until the public started bombarding the group with questions to issue a statement. And there would be NO WAY she would have let an opportunity like World Down Syndrome Day slide by without utilizing it to the fullest.
I realize that people, including myself, were somewhat hesitant to say much while there was an active investigation going on. However, there were ways to bring attention to the issue without compromising the investigation.
As far as the national organizations go, I’m not totally convinced that what they said, which wasn’t much, didn’t feed right into the prejudices of authorities, giving them the “out” they needed to sweep Ethan’s death under the rug. It seems as though all anyone is saying is that we need more “training.” Training can be great, and should be ONE of the options, not the ONLY option. Training doesn’t change attitudes.
Watching all this unfold from hundreds of miles away has been devastatingly difficult for me. I’ve been glued to the internet, watching for every news article, editorial piece, and Facebook post I can find. I was grateful but somewhat weary when the story went “viral” because I was afraid for the family. Turns out I had a right to be, but at the same time it’s been the only good thing to come out of this so far. People who helped fuel the spread of the story have been from all walks of life, and all over the world. These strangers have helped draw attention to the injustice of that night and the investigation that followed. We had no reason to expect support from these people we don’t know – but there it was.
They will never now how much I have appreciated what they have done.
I only wish I would have seen the love and outrage come from the people I expected it to.