A Missouri woman believes that her three-year-old special-needs daughter was discriminated against when she was forced to take off her thick glasses for a school photo.
Born with a rare genetic condition called Hallerman-Streiff, Abby Lubiewski has congenital cataracts. When she’s not wearing her glasses, the girl can only sense light and dark. As her mother Amanda Lubiewski explained in an interview with Fox 2 Now:
She has no vision at all without her glasses.
1. Abby Lubiewski’s mother Amanda was outraged after finding out that her three-year-old daughter with special needs was forced to take her thick glasses off for school picture day.
When Amanda received her daughter’s school pictures, she noticed that her Abby’s smile was strained. She said:
I knew then that she couldn’t see. And I couldn’t quite comprehend what would be going through someone’s mind to ask her to take those off.
The mother then shared on Facebook a post about how Abby “loves her glasses” and “needs them to function to the best of her ability”, Yahoo! Parenting reports. She wrote:
She is a strong, confident girl and deserves to show off every beautiful part of her, including her glasses.
2. When Lubiewski received her daughter Abby’s photographs, she immediately saw that her child’s smile was strained and said it was because Abby “couldn’t see”.
3. Abby was born with Hallerman-Streiff, a rare genetic syndrome that resulted in congenital cataracts. She can only perceive light and dark when she’s not wearing her specs and “has no vision at all without her glasses”.
Amanda added that when Abby saw her school pictures, she asked:
What happened to my glasses?
However, Amanda was more concerned with her daughter’s safety, knowing that official school photos are released to the public in case a child goes missing. She told Fox 2 Now:
This is very unsafe for her. Her picture doesn’t look like her without glasses.
4. Lubiewski was even more concerned knowing that police release official school portraits to the public if a child goes missing. “This is very unsafe for her”, she said. “Her picture doesn’t look like her without glasses”.
When the mother learned that other children at Abby’s school were allowed to keep their glasses on for the photos, she felt that her daughter had been discriminated against.
Amanda contacted LifeTouch School Photography on Facebook to tell them “how disrespectful” the Lubiewski family felt it was for the company to treat Abby “differently than other children in the school”. She wrote on Facebook:
Photographers for school pictures need to be trained on how to capture each unique child. Even those with disabilities.
Amanda said that other photographers in the past have found ways to work around the glare which her daughter’s thick glasses can sometimes cause for the camera.
5. LifeTouch School Photography has apologized to the family and will re-take Abby’s school picture for free.
The mother said:
It’s not just about getting a cute picture of her.
It’s how she was treated, and how it seems like she was treated differently because there was a part of her that was difficult to photograph.
LifeTouch School Photography has now apologized to the Lubiewski family. They wrote:
We should have never had your daughter remove her glasses for the photo. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind on our team.
Abby will now get another opportunity to have her school picture taken free of charge on Monday, after LifeTouch offered to do it all over.
6. A mother is upset that her daughter was forced to remove her glasses for a school picture — a FOX 2 Now report.
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