BRITISH COLUMBIA

Miles Ambridge Wheelchair Class Photo Angers Parents

06/16/2013 08:35 EDT | Updated 12/19/2015 12:59 EST
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The parents of a boy who suffers from spinal muscular atrophy are deeply upset at a class photo that shows him separated from his classmates at his New Westminster elementary school.

The photo shows seven-year-old Miles Ambridge sitting in his wheelchair at some distance from the rest of his Grade 2 classmates at Herbert Spencer Elementary School, The Province first reported on Friday.

And although the parents don't feel anyone acted with any malice in composing the photo, they still feel it's important to raise awareness of how different it made their son look, The Province reported Saturday.

Miles' mother, Anne Belanger, posted the photo to the Facebook page for Lifetouch Canada, the company that handled the school's photos.

The company took the photo down due to privacy laws and said they had sent it to their head office, but Belanger later posted the photo again with the kids' faces blurred out, while Miles' father Don Ambridge asked the school to throw it out.

Belanger wondered why nothing was done to get Miles in the picture, The Toronto Star reported.

"The only alternative seemed to be to set him aside," she said.

Don was angered and hurt by the photo, but he stopped short of calling it discrimination, CBC News reported.

"For me, discrimination is a willful exclusion of somebody. I don’t believe that’s a case here in any way, shape or form," he told the network.

Lifetouch agreed that the photographer made a mistake and sent another photographer to the school to take a second class photo.

This time, Miles was taken out of his wheelchair and sat on a bench alongside a caregiver, The Province reported.

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