Fury after photo firm offers to delete disabled children from class photo | UK | News

Furious mothers said they were left “devastated” after a photography firm made the “inhumane” offer to remove disabled children and those with additional support needs from class photos, it has been reported.

At Aboyne Primary in , three children were taken out of pictures shared through a web link, allowing parents to choose a photo without them.

Businesswoman mother-of-two Natalie Pinnell, 38, told MailOnline the decision to omit her nine-year-old daughter Erin from her class photo had “devastated” their family.

Calling the decision taken by Cornwall-based Tempest Photography “inhumane”, she said her child had been “erased from history”. The company says it is investigating.

Tempest Photography is run by Terence Tempest, 70, who lives in a £3million riverside lodge in Cornwall.

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

“But I am having to tell my other daughter about what’s happening to her sister. I’m not sure I’m going to sleep tonight.”

Natalie, who runs a business management and strategy company in Aboyne, said she was left fuming after she got an email from the school with two photo links – one that included her daughter and one that didn’t.

Natalie added: “I queried it with the school and they queried it with the photographer. He said ‘yes, that’s what we have done.’ It’s been the most traumatic experience as a family that we have felt.

“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. We have mourned. We have hurt. I feel like I haven’t even hit the bottom of my shock. It’s been absolutely devastating.

“The worst part was when I was talking to a friend about what happened and she found that there were two links for her daughter.”

Lisa Boyd’s nine-year-old daughter Lily Nicolson, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, was also omitted from one of the class photos, along with another boy.

She said: “This is clear discrimination and shouldn’t happen in a school or anywhere. It is the worst that Lily has been treated in her entire life. The school is so inclusive, Lily is included in everything the school does.

“Her twin sister, Iona, is in a different class and I only got one photo for that class but I got two for Lily’s – one without my kid in it. It’s horrendous.”

Aberdeenshire Council last night said it had taken the matter up with Tempest Photography, the company responsible.

The Council said the decision to offer images “with and without complex needs provision pupils” was not taken by the school.

A spokesman told MailOnline: “We absolutely appreciate the distress and hurt this has caused some parents and carers and we are sincerely sorry. The issue has been taken up with the photography company directly as this is totally unacceptable.”

Tempest was contacted but it told BBC Scotland it was investigating the matter and there would be no comment at this stage.

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