Vegetarian girl, 16, called racist by GCSE examiner for calling halal meat 'disgusting'
Abigail Ward’s mother said she was shocked at the accusation that her daughter was racist (Picture: Google Street View)
A girl has been disqualified after an answer she gave about halal meat was mistaken for Islamophobia.
Abigail Ward, 16, is vegetarian and she wrote ‘which I find absolutely disgusting’ during the religious studies exam in June.
This led to the OCR exam board accusing her of a ‘malpractice offence’ and said her disqualification was ‘due to obscene racial comments being made throughout an exam paper’.
However, that disqualification was overturned after Abigail explained that she was expressing her opinion of halal butchers as a strict vegetarian.
Her school, Gildredge House School in Eastbourne, East Essex, appealed on her behalf. Meanwhile her mother Layla, 36, said the examiner had been: ‘over-zealous, over-righteous’.
She said: ‘We called her [Abigail] downstairs and said, “What is this about?”.
She was just as gobsmacked as we were.
She’s never had a detention, she’s so good at school.’ She added: ‘It’s great that it’s been overturned, but it should never have happened.’
They explained to examiners that she was referring to the halal butchers and not Muslims in general.
They also pointed out that there were no other comments throughout the rest of her exam paper that would suggest Abigail is racist.
The OCR apologised for causing ‘upset and stress’.
They acknowledged they were wrong in the way they described the ‘frequency and severity of the comments’.
My view: It is sad that people can not express an innocent opinion or answer a question without being labelled racist. I don't get why some people like playing the race card just to invoke public sympathy.