Photo Firm Under Fire for Removing Disabled Kids From School Pictures

A blurred photo of students in a classroom.

What should have been an innocent school photo has turned into an ugly controversy after families were given the option to edit out disabled students.

Families received school photos online via a link with three students removed, the Daily Mail reports. They were also given the option to order versions of the photos with the children in them.

Natalie Pinnell, whose 9-year-old daughter attends the Scotland school and was edited out of the photo, shared her frustration with the Daily Mail.

“You can’t erase them because they’re inconvenient. It’s just not OK,” Pinnell said to the outlet. “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 is the most beautiful human being. Who could do this?”

Now, many seek answers as to how this happened. Terence Tempest, who appears to be a company director for Tempest Photography, the firm that provided the images, spoke with the Daily Mail about the incident.

“Of course I understand how upset the families must be, I would be too,” Tempest told the publication. He shifted the focus to the freelance photographer who took the pictures saying they may have been the one to edit out the children and present the option to families.

“I’m not sure what the current policy is frankly, it depends what we are asked to do. We just respond to what we are asked for,” Tempest added.

Tempest told the Daily Mail that the company has been busy conducting meetings to address the situation and figure out who is responsible for the offending incident. However, Tempest Photography was in a similar incident just last year. In this case as well, families received links to two images of a class photo, one that included a disabled student, and one where she was edited out.

“We were quite taken aback and we were shocked,” Haley Woodward, the mother of the young girl who was edited out of the photo explains. “I wish I had pushed it a bit more at the time, but when you have a child with additional needs everything is a battle and everything is a fight. It was another fight that we just didn’t have.”

PetaPixel reached out to Tempest Photography for comment but has not receive a reply. This story will be updated if the company responds.

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.