The latest episode of the show Degrassi: The Next Generation only reinforced my dislike for authoritative figures in the show; I think the writers…

The latest episode of the show Degrassi: The Next Generation only reinforced my dislike for authoritative figures in the show; I think the writers just like writing plots that allow characters to stick it to a man, and having him be not so good helps. However, I think this episode does shine in its portrayal of the proper way to interact with those who have mental illnesses, such as Connor, a new addition to the show who was just diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. He’d always been the weird, socially awkward one of the bunch, isolated to the extreme though it took a violent outburst to push his friends away. With the school’s principal quick to throw around the term freak, an expulsion the attachment, Connor’s scholastic career was saved only by his diagnosis. The principal was dealt with accordingly, not to be seen active for a good while, and Connor’s friends taking him back in; it surprised me that they didn’t do it out of pity but of general interest and concern for him, despite the way he’d been acting. Connor found his diagnosis a relief, an explanation. He wasn’t a freak, nor unique: he found comfort in having others with issues similar to his. Such portrayal of a mental illness was really nice, as I have a cousin who is looked down upon because he is autistic. This episode was a welcome breath of fresh air.   – Eric