This class photo has outraged the mother of the child in the wheelchair. (Source: The Province)
The redone class picture includes Miles sitting on the bench with his classmates, with the help of a caregiver. He is on the far right of the bottom row of bleachers. (Source: The Province)
NEW WEST MINISTER, CANADA (WAVE) - A second grader with a disability was seemingly shunned during a class picture.
For Anne Belanger, the photo was completely unacceptable. Her son, Miles, was pushed off the side—confined to his wheelchair and away from his classmates—for their class picture.
According to The Province, a Canadian newspaper, she was heartbroken when she saw the photo and the angle at which he was leaning in, trying to get closer to his classmates—all the while keeping a smile on his face (http://bit.ly/13SKN5s).
Spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic disease that attacks nerve cells in the spinal cord, causing muscles throughout the body, especially in the arms and legs, to weaken. The disease does not affect cognitive abilities.
The Province reported that Miles was diagnosed at just 13 months, when doctors told his parents their boy would never walk.
As the photograph gains media attention, accusations have arose that the photography company, Lifetouch Canada, Inc., discriminated against Miles and his spinal muscular atrophy disability.
After Miles' parents posted the picture on the Facebook page of Lifetouch, the photography company commented on the situation saying the photo was a mistake. They have arranged a re-shoot with Miles sitting on the bench beside his classmates.
The school has dropped their contract with the photography company following the incident. Not before they took the picture again, though. Miles' mother told The Province (http://bit.ly/12b1GE6) the new picture is "gorgeous."