OP details various first-hand accounts of disabled children across the UK who have been edited in their school photos. This is not a new phenomenon as one of the accounts is from the 1970s.

Some quotes from the article:

Behind the erasure of disabled children lies the frightening belief that they don’t belong in ‘perfect’ pictures – or public spaces.

If that feels somewhat chilling, it is because it should. Few of us – even at a time when someone, somewhere will always find a way to excuse bigotry – cannot understand the connotations of wanting to pretend disabled children don’t exist.

Children have had their disability aids removed by photographers. Other children have been altered with editing software or banned from their class photos entirely.

That is the thing with true ugliness. It does not come in the shape of a wheelchair, a cleft lip, white cane or scars. It sits in prejudice, digging and clawing its way into our culture until one day the nice man who is taking your child’s school photo asks her to hide her hearing aids. That this prejudice will follow these children into adulthood is perhaps the bleakest part. If only society had the desire to edit that out.

  • JhoOP
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    2 months ago

    That this prejudice will follow these children into adulthood is perhaps the bleakest part.

    This is the thing that horrifies me the most about this story. Adults, schools, and parents are setting an abominable example to these children.

    I can only imagine the confusion and shame a child must experience when being told to hide their insulin pumps, their wheelchairs, their hearing aids, etc. And I’m frightened to think of the pupils who feel empowered to “other” their classmates because they are being “othered” by the adults. It’s a clear example of how we teach children bigotry.

    An experience from my childhood which still sticks with me to this day is from when attending an ultra-orthodox church. I was maybe 5 years old and tried to follow my dad into a restricted area and being stopped by the priest, being told “sorry, only boys are allowed back here”.

    As a child I was taught that adults are always right, and to listen to them. This may very well be my earliest memory of being taught sexism, which only got reinforced throughout my life due to trusting the adults at this church and through trusting my very religious right-wing father. Even as a kid I recognised that what I was witnessing was unfair, but I did not have the power, the understanding, nor the will to challenge this unfairness because the adults must know what they’re doing… right?