School Examiners Fail 16-year-old Vegetarian for Objecting to Halal Slaughter


School examiners failed a 16-year-old vegetarian for remarking on her negative view of halal slaughter, claiming inaccurately that she had made “obscene racial comments… throughout an exam paper”.

In fact, the “strict vegetarian” had remarked only once in her General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exam paper that she found Islamic ritual slaughter practises “disgusting” and made no reference to race whatsoever.

The schoolgirl’s mother, 36-year-old nurse Layla Ward, said she believed the examiner marking the paper had been “over-zealous, over-righteous”, noting that her daughter had “never had a detention, she’s so good at school” in comments reported by The Telegraph.

The girl’s school, Gildredge House school in Eastbourne, East Sussex, agreed to appeal the “malpractice offence” disqualification to the exam board, with the headmaster telling her partents he was “just as angry and shocked as [they] were” and confirming that “it was about the halal meat comments”.

The board eventually admitted that the examiner’s description of “the frequency and severity of the comments” — i.e. “obscene racial comments being made throughout [the] exam paper” — “was inaccurate”, overturning the disqualifcation and apologising for the “upset and stress” it had caused.

“In this case, we carefully reviewed what had been written by the [pupil] in a recent exam, with the benefit of more information,” the board said.

“We accept that initially we did not reach the right conclusion and were too harsh. We wish [the schoolgirl] all the best for her GCSE results in August.”

“[My daughter] is an animal lover and a very strict vegetarian,” remarked the girl’s mother.

“It made me angry [that] when asked a question in the exam, you can’t even express your feelings. It’s great that it has been overturned but it should never have happened.”


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