Bella Thurston, a young 13-year old girl battling cancer, felt greatly upset and humiliated after being forced to take her hat off for Picture Day - one of the biggest days of the school year for most kids.
“It was just really humiliating and upsetting for me. I was trying hard not to cry. It was just not a good experience,” she said.
Her mother, Kara Thurston, explained the girl’s situation: “She has ependymoma, which is a brain and spine tumor. She was first diagnosed when she was 5.”
She also mentioned that Bella’s hair was falling off because of her recent chemotherapy treatments, which is why she wears a hat to school.
The incident happened at Hoover Middle School, where the school’s photographer insisted that she take her hat off.
“He says it's against policy. And I was like, 'OK, so I can't wear my hat?' and he was like, 'No, you can go fix your hair, take your hat off or I won't take your picture,' and I didn't let him take my picture because I didn't feel that I needed to take my hat off in order for him to take my picture,” Bella said.
When her mother first found out about the incident, she was outraged. “When something happens to your kid that you can't fix, it's heartbreaking, you feel helpless.”
The Lifetouch Photography has apologized over the incident and said that it was just a huge misunderstanding on their part.
"We have been in touch with the school and have reached out to the family to offer their daughter a complimentary photography session in a place of their choosing. In light of this, we will be revisiting our training protocol with our photographers."
“I would not like to be singled out, I would like my picture to be taken the normal way and to be in the same spot that it always is in the yearbook,” Bella said in response.