by Andrew Tettenborn, Rebel Priest:
Before the Iron Curtain fell, schoolchildren in eastern Europe quickly learned to toe the correct party line, whatever they might actually have thought. If they expressed the wrong political views in schoolwork or exams, then however clever they might otherwise be they knew perfectly well that they would face penalties and would never get on in life.
This could never happen in England today, could it? Don’t be so sure. A story that hit most of the papers this week should give you pause.
There was a question in one of this year’s Religious Studies GCSE papers about Islam and halal slaughter in the UK. One 16-year-old girl, Abigail Ward, at an Eastbourne free school, as it happens a strict vegetarian and animal lover, let rip about what she thought of the halal process. What she wrote came from the heart and was not complimentary.
She soon received a pompous and self-important letter informing her that she had got zero marks for the whole paper. Why? Because by saying what she had she had demonstrated Islamophobia, thereby committing a “malpractice offence” meriting disqualification “due to obscene racial comments being made throughout an exam paper.”