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There Should Be No Children Left on the Outer

 

class

One of the responsibilities of a school is to fight to ensure that each and every one of its students is afforded the rights and respect of being treated as an equal. It doesn’t matter whether they have a disability, learning difficulty or if they have a different cultural or religious background, they must be made to feel welcome, equal and important.

Whilst this photo above may be discounted as an unfortunate error, it is not a good look, and unfortunately represents the kind of image that burns in the hearts of those who were discarded and rejected during their schooldays:

They’re the pictures parents treasure forever: a class photo that captures an entire school year in an instant.

So imagine the confusion and upset mom Anna Belanger felt when she discovered her son had been placed off to the side in his Grade 2 class photo, simply because he was in a wheelchair.

‘I couldn’t comprehend how the photographer could look through the lens and think that this was good composition… this just boggled the mind,’ she said.

In the photo, the class is sitting in three rows with the teacher standing on the left.Anna’s son Miles Ambridge, who’s 7, is seen several feet away leaning from his wheelchair with a huge space separating him from his classmates.

‘Being picked on and being set aside is horrendous and this was what was happening,’ said Mrs Belanger, of New Westminster, British Columbia.

She said that being in a wheelchair comes with an additional set of challenges for Miles, who was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at 13 months, a genetic disease that attacks nerve cells in the spinal cord.

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One Response to “There Should Be No Children Left on the Outer”

  1. Jessica N and Makiko Says:

    This is definitely a story that touches my heart. I have seen it in many different places and the topic of inclusion seems to have totally not been with the photographer. And while the school is not at fault technically, the teacher who likely DOES know about inclusion should have said something.

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