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'Glee' stirs debate with school shooting episode

5:05 PM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
Brittany (Heather Morris) gets a group hug on Thursday's 'Glee' episode.(Photo: Adam Rose, Fox)
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Strong reaction is swirling about Thursday's Glee episode, Shooting Star, which included a character bringing a gun to school. A shooting occurs.

"Chills. Sob. Hiccup. Repeat." writes E! TV columnist, Kristin Dos Santos, saying it was "truly unlike any Glee episode we've seen before."

Spoiler note: If you haven't seen the episode you probably don't want to read on.

Shots rang out in the middle of glee club practice, sending the students and teachers scrambling for cover and crouched in fear.

In the end, it was revealed that special-needs student Becky (Lauren Potter) brought the gun to school and accidentally fired it while talking to Sue (Jane Lynch.) Just before the shots went off, Becky told Brittany (Heather Morris), "The world out there is really scary ... Someday, they will make me leave here and I don't know what I'm going to do."

Potter's mother tells Huffington Post she liked the idea of having her daughter be the one to bring a gun to school. "Whether she has Down syndrome or not, it doesn't matter ... Why wouldn't it be somebody with Down syndrome because she's a kid. She's a teenager. She makes stupid decisions just like other teenagers do."

But some in Newtown, Conn. weren't happy with the concept, under any circumstances. In the Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks warned on Thursday before the episode aired that it "may be a little much for some residents to stomach." And a Newtown victims advocacy group emailed out a warning urging locals to either not watch, or "watch with caution."

Show creator Ryan Murphy tweeted that he was "proud" of the episode, and called it "the most powerful emotional Glee ever."

Reaction on Twitter today includes comments such as:

- "RT if you cried while watching Glee's episode 'Shooting Star'."

- "This episode's existence serves primarily as evidence to a complete lack of respect by the Glee showrunners."

- "Is #Glee exploiting tragedy to seem relevant?"

- "If Glee or the cast don't win awards for this episode something is up, the acting was phenomenal #ShootingStar #Glee"

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