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30th Mar 2024

Photography firm apologises after offering to remove disabled children from class photos

Ryan Price

Parents of the children were stunned when the company asked them if they wanted their kids edited out.

A photography firm have issued an apology to parents after their children with additional support needs were omitted from a collection of class photos.

Tempest Photography were hired by Aboyne Primary School in Aberdeenshire, Scotland to take pictures of their P5 class.

After the images were taken, three children with “complex needs” were edited out, and these images were offered to parents in a separate link as an option.

The parents of those particular children have spoken of their shock and outrage at the firm’s decision, and have said that they felt as though their children were ‘erased’.

One of the children removed from the images was a wheelchair user whose twin sister was left “distraught” by her omission.

Natalie Pinnell, whose nine year old daughter has additional support needs and was also removed from the picture, told MailOnline: “You can’t erase them because they’re inconvenient. It’s just not OK.

“It’s devastating to have your child be erased from a photo or give parents a choice whether she should or should not be included,” she added.

“She is the most beautiful human being. Who could do this? I’m grateful that she’s not aware of it because the damage that would do to her self-esteem would be devastating.”

The Cornwall-based photography firm – which employs local photographers to take school photos across the UK – has said it “deeply regrets” the hurt caused.

The business initially said it had launched an investigation but has now given reassurances to customers that it “is not standard procedure” and added the company is taking the matter “very seriously”.

The statement, published on X, formerly Twitter, read: “Recently, after capturing a class group photograph, one of our photographers took additional images of the class group which omitted some members of the class from the photograph.

“We deeply regret any upset this has caused and would like to sincerely apologise to the parents and children affected.

“We are a family-run business and photograph at schools across the UK and would like to reassure our customers that this is not standard procedure for our company and we are taking this matter very seriously.

“We are committed to implementing meaningful changes to prevent such an occurrence in the future.”

Aberdeenshire Council also apologised to parents after the issue was flagged, stating the decision was not taken by the school.

After Natalie informed the school of the incident, they apologised and vowed to never use the company again, with the mum insisting it was never their fault.

The link to purchase the photos was also immediately removed.

Natalie said: “I queried it with the school and they queried it with the photographer. He said ‘yes, that’s what we have done’.

“I really wanted to believe there was a different reason. I was trying to look for a reason why someone would have made that decision.”

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