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What’s Wrong With This Class Photo?

At first glance, this looks like your average elementary school photo, only with a disabled boy in a wheelchair off to the side, smiling wide. But think about it: If you were that disabled boy’s parents, how would you feel, seeing your son separated from the other 2nd graders, leaning toward them as if he wished he could be part of the group?

Anne Belanger and Don Ambridge, it turns out, were those parents. And the New Westminster, Canadian couple wasn't happy about it one bit. “Look at the angle that he was in,” Belanger told a local newspaper called The Province after the picture appeared on its front page last week. “He’s ostracized. He wants to be part of the gang so much. This is setting precedents for not only Miles, but for other kids and individuals with disabilities. I’m not on a warpath. I just want to bring awareness that this was not acceptable.”

The boy, Miles, has spinal muscular atrophy and has never walked. This image portraying him as an outsider has since gone viral, and sparked such an outrage that the professional photography company that took it, Lifetouch Canada, agreed to reshoot Miles among his peers. “People make mistakes, and unfortunately this one has had a very lasting effect on both of the parents, the school and Lifetouch,” said regional sales manager Greg Tarapaski. “It’s wrong, but it doesn’t mean it was intentional,” Ambridge said of the original photo. “It just means that somebody dropped the ball for a moment, and that can be incredibly hurtful.”

Photo via The Province

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