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Farmer's son accuses school of 'preaching veganism'

Farmer's son accuses school of 'preaching veganism'

A school has been accused of ‘preaching’ veganism and criticising the agriculture industry’s role in after a 12-year-old who lives on a farm complained.

Year 8 pupil Jacob Lascelles was taking part in the science lesson when the doctrine was allegedly ‘rammed’ down children’s throats.

When he complained, his arguments were ‘shut down’ and he was warned he would be thrown out of the lesson at Wymondham High School in Norfolk.

Jacob, who lives on a farm in the area and keeps a pet cow called Blue, said: ‘The teacher said that adopting a diet was the best way to prevent global warming.

‘When I questioned that, I was told to be quiet and threatened to be sent out of the class if I carried on and that I was wrong.I was just trying to argue my point and put my views across.’

Year 8 pupil Jacob Lascelles (right, pictured with former farm owner David Baker, left, and pet cow Blue) as taking part in the science lesson when the doctrine was allegedly ‘rammed’ down children’s throats

His mother Rachael, 37, said she was ‘fuming’ when she learned what had happened on July 10 and has lodged a complaint with the school.

‘I do not think schools should be preaching veganism to pupils as it is a personal choice they should be left to make,’ she said.

‘We live in a rural county where agriculture is one of the biggest industries and we provide some of the very best meat around click here.

‘Children should be learning about this and I would be delighted to welcome classes to our farm and share with them what we do.’

Ms Lascelles, who keeps cattle, sheep and pigs with her partner Jacob’s step-father plant hire business owner Derek Keenan, 31, at White House Farm, added: ‘It is not fair for children to have something that is a personal choice, like veganism, rammed down their throats.’

Jacob said veganism had been raised in science classes before, as well as geography.The school has proposed meat-free Mondays for lunches.

Jacob said veganism had been raised in science classes before, as well as geography.Pictured: Wymondham High School, Norfolk

The schoolboy’s grandmother, Dale George, added: ‘They’re a funny kind of school. Whenever they get an idea in their heads they zoom in and brainwash the pupils.’

An email sent to the family by the Enrich Learning Trust, which runs the school – which faced criticism from parents a year ago after a change in uniform policy meant boys were able to wear skirts in hot weather but not shorts – apologised for the incident and praised Jacob’s ‘contextualised examples’ about farming.

A comment understood to be from the teacher involved added: ‘I believe this issue has arisen as Jacob’s class are completing project work on everyday changes that they could encourage their peers to make to help reduce our impact on global warming.

‘Having taught Jacob throughout his Key Stage 3 journey, we have had many conversations about farming and he is often able to give the class fantastic, contextualised examples.

‘Many of these, such as your sheep breed, have then fed into my teaching further up the school as local examples of topics we teach – please thank him for this.’

They added: ‘Thank you again for your support of Jacob’s science education and apologies for the upset caused.’

How much agriculture adds to global warming is hotly contested.Estimates range from 8.5 per cent up to 21 per cent.

The National Farmers’ Union has an industry target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

Enrich Learning Trust was approached for a comment.

Chris McGovern, of the Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘Veganism is an optional and minority lifestyle.

‘It should not be forced on children as though it is compulsory and non-negotiable religious belief.’

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