Head Teacher Who Slaughtered Lamb Resigns
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org


Andrew Levy on DailyMail.co.uk
February 2010

For such a little lamb, he has caused one huge kerfuffle.

When Marcus the sheep was slaughtered last year after being lovingly reared by schoolchildren, parents were outraged.

Now the unlikely scandal has claimed a second victim - the headmistress who let him go to the chop.

Andrea Charman has resigned after telling friends she has been 'bullied and victimized' ever since.

Mrs Charman even received threats of violence after the decision for six-month-old Marcus to be butchered and his meat sold in a raffle.


Many parents at Lydd Primary School in Kent yesterday admitted Mrs Charman had generally been a good headmistress.

But they insisted her position had become untenable over her handling of Marcus's fate.

Adele Grant, 41, said her ten-year-old daughter Liberty had been left 'psychologically traumatized' and needed counseling after the death.

Of Mrs Charman's departure, she added: 'My daughter's pleased. In fact, she's absolutely ecstatic, although some of the pupils are upset because they liked her.

'My argument was never with her as a head teacher. It was the way she handled things. What happened was disgusting and barbaric and unfair to the children.'

Marcus was one of three sheep cared for at a school farm set up last spring. Pupils bottle-fed the animals and took them into assemblies.

But the program caused uproar when the school council, made up of seven to 11-year-olds, voted to send Marcus to be slaughtered. Raffle tickets were to be sold in local shops with cuts of meat offered as the prize.

Parents protested outside the school but Mrs Charman refused to intervene - saying she wanted to teach children about the food chain and local economy.

An online petition calling for her to be sacked gained 2,500 signatures and a Facebook group called 'Ban Andrea Charman from Teaching Anywhere' attracted 650 members.

Tina Goodyer, 50, who has two children and a granddaughter at the school, said yesterday: 'We wanted everything to be amicable, even though we made complaints.

'All we got for our trouble was being told we were intimidating other parents and being barred from the school.

'But at the end of the day parents and children should have been informed in more detail about what was going to happen at the school farm.

'If I'd known there was a slaughter program I'd have asked for the children to be opted out.'

Yesterday local MP and former Tory leader Michael Howard came to Mrs Charman's defense, saying she had felt forced to step down after 'a campaign of vituperation'.

Mr Howard added: 'It was the relentlessness of this campaign, which included threats of violence, which has proved the final straw for Mrs Charman.'

Kent County Council confirmed Mrs Charman would be leaving tomorrow.

The school's chairman of governors, Geoff Marsh, said: 'This is a sad day for us but we wish her the very best for the future.'

Mrs Charman was not available to comment yesterday.

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