Who, exactly, was marking the paper?

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”.

And if Grandpa Death had been marking it, would the same comment applied to kosher have got an A*?

29 thoughts on “Who, exactly, was marking the paper?”

  1. Islamaphobia and Antisemitism? Well played Steve.

    But seriously, the screams of Islamaphobia and Antisemitism will prevent politicians from doing the right thing, because they’re cowards.

  2. It also accepted that the board’s original letter “describing the frequency and severity of the comments” was “inaccurate”.

    Miss Ward’s mother Layla, a 36-year-old nurse, said she believed the misunderstanding was probably down to an “over-zealous, over-righteous” examiner.

    I bet the ‘over-righteous’ examiner was a ROPer, who doubled down by lying about the poor girl’s comments. That combination of angry insecurity and dishonesty is one of the hallmarks of everyone’s favourite desert religion.

    Is there no end to Britain’s diversity dividend?

  3. Looks like the Mongol Horde’s been written out of history, then.
    The Central Asian Equestrian & Toxophilite Society, anyone?

  4. Fire every fucker involved in the caper and take their pensions.

    It isn’t the job of exam twats to judge on politics–if politics it can even be classed as.

  5. Somewhat off-topic, I see that in a Paris suburb known for, ahem, high levels of unemployment, a man of no description has shot dead a waiter because of the latter’s tardy preparation of a sandwich.

  6. the exemption from animal cruelty laws required for religious food preparation is an oddity. where are peta when you need them?

  7. I sneeze in threes

    Stoneground, isn’t the wool only made from girl sheep? I think therefore the little boys end up in the food chain? Same with cows, milk and bullocks. So if you were vegetarian you could make and argument against wool. (Not saying I agree with it)

  8. ‘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’

    A declaration of orthodoxy. So screw them too. A proper defense would be, STFU! “Yeah, she said it. So what? Who the hell do you think you are?”

    ‘was not making any comment about Muslims.’


    ‘Halal food is that which adheres to Islamic law, as defined in the Koran.’

    ‘The Islamic form of slaughtering animals or poultry, dhabiha, involves killing through a cut to the jugular vein, carotid artery and windpipe.’ – Wiki

    I suppose it’s possible to be a halal butcher and not be a Muslim, but that doesn’t excuse our dear Miss Ward.

  9. An acquaintance, a vet, once did a spell of being an inspector covering halal and kosher butchery. The difference was, he explained, that the kosher people were skilful and used sharp knives so there was little if any suffering.

  10. On the mildest note of dissent, it’s hard too see how her words might considered scholarly or academic.

    But then, that’s a D, rather than, “You must fail because of your unfashionable views”.

    Other than that, the veggie-antiwaycist intersectionality is splendid. If only her name was Greta.

  11. @dearieme

    Inspector covering halal and kosher butchery.The difference was, he explained, that the kosher people were skilful and used sharp knives so there was little if any suffering.

    You’ve omitted what he said about halal butchery. Do you work for BBC?

  12. @ Edward Lud
    It was a “Religious Studies” examination.
    Low mark on *one question* for expressing personal opinion instead of theological argument.

  13. WTH was the question? “What are your opinions on religious dietry practices”? Otherwise, I can’t think how on earth her comments would be any sort of approriate answer in any exam.

    It’s like a couple of decades ago there were some kids complaining they’d failed their biology exams because they’d refused to answer a question on evolution. Duh! It’s a biology exam – it’s testing your knowledge not your beliefs. You would similarly fail an political economics exam for refusing to answer a question about communism because you didn’t like communism.

  14. @jgh

    If the story tells the full tale, the point is that she was disqualified from the exam, not merely marked down a little.

  15. @Edward Lud
    No one gets a D for one stupid answer, if the rest of her answers were perfect she should have got an A

  16. The child should have walked out of the exam in tears and her mother should have raised a stink: ‘Muslim’ and ‘Islam’ are trigger words and their association with halal kill and FGM are intolerable to vegetarians and vagatarians alike.

  17. “You’ve omitted what he said about halal butchery. Do you work for BBC?”

    No, I was simply assuming that the readers here are intelligent. Sorry for the error.

  18. @ AndrewWS
    The complaint is not that she got no marks for the remark, but that she was DISQUALIFIED – something normally reserved for those caught cheating.

  19. @dearieme – Some years ago I watched a documentary about animal slaughter. It interviewed some slaughtermen at a big slaughterhouse somewhere oop north (dear lord) and also a kosher slaughterer. No halal action to my memory.

    The former were a bunch who – at best – had something missing but the Jewish chap saw minimising suffering as part of his religious duty. The documentary showed him slaughtering a cow and it was dispatched very speedily and so far as I could tell with minimal trauma.

  20. But the disqualification was overturned when it transpired Miss Ward, a strict vegetarian, was simply expressing her distaste for halal butchers.

    So problem solved in this instance, but rather suggests that if Miss Ward’s distaste had due to a strict upbringing by parents who were dismissive of Islamic replacement then the disqualification would have been upheld.

    In which case, per the Ecksian standard line, disband the OCR examination board for obvious bias and all staff to be fired sans pensions and compo.

    As others have suggested, disqualification should only apply for things like cheating. Giving wrong, woke, insolent or politically incorrect answers should only be marked down if they are factually and objectively incorrect.

    Bloody idiots the lot of them.

  21. @Anon

    If half her answers were perfect she’d have received an A. An E is now touted as a pass.


    We can infer halal butchers are good or bad – thus BBC bias by omission point.

    @John Galt


  22. Pcar

    You’re obviously taking a breather and out on the piss. Hey, it’s August!

    When you sober up, go and read again Dearieme at August 18 – 8:53 pm, and “The difference was” and then try “inferring” as you so aptly put it.

    No dodgy BBC bias, just a clear anecdote as to ropy practices. 😉

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