Boy in Wheelchair Gets New Class Photo After Original Angers Parents
Who loves second chances? We do!
Last week we reported on a second grade class picture that outraged a Canadian mom. In the photo, her wheelchair-bound son was shown way off to the side of his class, leaning toward his classmates like he wanted to be part of the group.
At the time, Miles Ambridge’s mom Ann Belanger was furious that her son was set apart from the group. Now, the photography company who took the offending photo has made amends by apologizing to the family and re-taking the picture. The new photo shows 7-year-old Miles sitting on the bleachers with his classmates, looking happy and included.
Ambridge has muscular dystrophy and needs his wheelchair to get around, but his parents say the chair doesn’t define him. That’s why they were so upset when they saw the photo. At the time, mom Anne told the The Province, “He’s ostracized. He wants to be part of the gang so much.”
According to the Province, after running last Friday, the first picture went completely viral, getting more than 4.2 million shares on the newspaper’s website alone. This doesn’t even take into account news outlets and social media sites that picked up the story worldwide.
The photography company Lifetouch put this statement on its Facebook page:
Lifetouch believes all students should be treated with respect and train our photographers accordingly. We made a mistake at Herbert Spencer elementary and we are sorry, but it was never intentional. We worked directly with the family and school to retake the class photo and the new portrait was delivered yesterday.
The new photo shows Miles sitting on a bench with the rest of his classmates, supported by an adult on his side (that’s Miles in the first row on the far right). Anne declared to The Province that the new photo is “gorgeous.” She said, “You can’t pick him out this time,” she says, adding, “For him, to fit in, this is what it should be.” Miles’ father, Don Ambridge, added when speaking with TODAY, “When we saw the new photo come out, the world’s been put back as it should be.”