Friday, April 2, 2010

The return of the sacrificial lamb

Back in September a row broke out over school pupils deciding to send a lamb they had raised as part of a project on food to be sent for slaughter. Part of the fall out lead to the head teacher resigning over the "antics" of a few parents and agitators.

BBC.
Parents at a Kent primary school are angry that a sheep hand-reared by pupils is to be slaughtered for meat.
Meat from neutered male Marcus, one of three sheep cared for at a farm set up in the spring at Lydd Primary School, is to be raffled to buy more animals.
Mother Jo Davis said it was a disgrace that the sheep fed by hand by her eight-year-old daughter Megan was to be slaughtered and sold.
Head teacher Andrea Charman said the school council voted for the slaughter.
BBC.
The school's head teacher Ms Charman said the children will learn a lot from the farm. She says it will teach them about where food comes from and the economy.
Several people, including TV presenter Paul O'Grady, and some animal sanctuaries have offered to buy or look after Marcus to keep him alive, but the school is thought to have turned down the offers.
BBC.
Mrs Charman went ahead with sending the animal to slaughter, which was part of a project to teach children about the food cycle.
At the time she said the decision had the support of the school council, staff, the governing body and most parents at the 250-pupil school.
Parents and pupils who took part in the protest said they were disappointed to see Mrs Charman leave.
Chair of governors Geoff Marsh said: "This is a sad day for us, but we wish her the very best for the future."
Kent councillor Sarah Hohler said: "I would want to assure everybody in the strongest possible terms that the governing body, school staff and Kent County Council have absolute faith and confidence in Mrs Charman.
"We are very sorry to see her leave."
Well common sense finally prevailed and Mrs Charman has returned to the school, hopefully now the original protesters will have learned a valuable lesson too and wont mess with the school in future when it tries to teach kids about the real world.

BBC.
Kent councillor Sarah Hohler said: "I am very pleased that Andrea Charman is returning to Lydd Primary School.
"The community has spoken and made their feelings known loud and clear. There is overwhelming support for her.
"Under her guidance the school made tremendous progress and I know she will relish the opportunity to continue that work and do her best for the children and staff.
"Welcome back Mrs Charman."
Parents and pupils held a protest in February to try and stop Mrs Charman from resigning.
Comedian Paul O'Grady, who lives near Ashford, had offered to buy Marcus.
But Mrs Charman went ahead with sending the animal to slaughter, which was part of a project to teach children about the food cycle.
Doug Wanstall, a farmer in Aldington, told BBC Kent it was vital children knew where their food came from.
He said: "There are a number of things we rely on - oxygen, water and food.
"It's very important that we understand all of those... and how we get our food, to my mind, is a very important part of any education."
At the time she said the decision had the support of the school council, staff, the governing body and most parents at the 250-pupil school.
I realise there is a tendency in today's society to see food as originating in supermarkets, but it really is vital that kids see the whole process from  start to finish including the end result. That it nearly cost the headteacher her job and health is a far more telling verdict on those who protested about the lamb. Lessons learned? I doubt it, but it's good to see this lady back in her job.

2 annotations:

tris said...

On mature reflection I think they might find that it would have been better not to have a lamb in school and to give it a name and anthropomorphosise it.... (is that really the word?)

Young kids can be seriously affected by the death of a pet... and if they have been allowed to give it a human name and feed it, it could be quite traumatic to know that it was going to get its head cut off.

I realise that they have to learn that death is a part of what feeds them, and I actually think it’s a good idea. They should know that chips start their lives in fields too. But, perhaps with video, and stories, not with a cuddly wee soul called Marcus.

If not, then I think that the teachers might have been able to explain that in normal circumstances the lamb would go to the slaughter (as it were) but in this case Marcus would go and live with that man who used to be Lily Savage .(Oh dear, maybe that wouldn’t be too great for them either!)

Furor Teutonicus said...

and if they have been allowed to give it a human name and feed it, it could be quite traumatic to know that it was going to get its head cut off.

Aye. Calling it something like "Dinner" would hweve been better.

"Hay DINNER, come and get fed!"