A student in a wheelchair participated in a class photo and now that picture because of its nature has become a viral hit and source of discriminatory discussion on Facebook.
The boy’s father Don Ambridge saw the photo after it was published by Lifetouch photography on the company’s Facebook page.
Ambridge immediately contacted Herbert Spencer Elementary School in British Colombia and asked that the picture be retaken.
Lifetouch Photography in the meantime removed the photograph, citing Canadian privacy laws based on the parents’ take down request.
According to the HuffingtonPost “Ambridge has a genetic disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which attacks spinal nerve cells.”
In the photo Miles is seen smiling in his wheelchair but is obviously separated from the children.
Mr. Ambridge doesn’t believe the photographer was trying to be mean, in fact he tells CBC News:
“For me, discrimination is a willful exclusion of somebody. I don’t believe that’s a case here. … I think what it is, is just a circumstantial lack of awareness that resulted in a really emotionally tragic output.”
The boys mother Anne Belanger took the photo, blurred out the other children’s faces and then placed the wheelchair bound class photo. Speaking to the Toronto Star the boys mother says:
“I couldn’t comprehend how the photographer could look through the lens and think that this was good composition. … [T]his just boggled the mind. Being picked on and being set aside is horrendous and this was what was happening.”
Lifetouch Photography is refusing to comment on the act of discrimination
In the meantime the wheelchair featured class photo continues to generate further discussion on the Facebook.
I can feel the hurt and anger the parents are feeling. We should take the time to include everyone in a picture. A simple picture says a lot.