Racial comment: Exam board disqualifies Vegetarian student after criticising halal meat

A student was disqualified from her GCSE exam after she was accused of making “obscene racial comments” by criticising halal meat.

Abigail Ward, 16, a strict vegetarian, wrote during a Religious Studies exam in June that she found the idea of halal meat “absolutely disgusting”.

The exam board OCR later disqualified Miss Ward from the exam, accusing her of making “obscene racial comments”.

The decision was only overturned when her school, Gildredge House in Eastbourne, appealed the decision, insisting Miss Ward had been expressing her distaste for halal butchers and was not making any comment about Muslims.

In a statement, OCR said: “OCR takes all incidence of suspected offensive material against a religious group in exams very seriously and must apply rules which are set out for all exam boards in such cases.

“We accept that initially we did not reach the right conclusion and were too harsh.”

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