At a Birmingham school in the UK 11 year old Jack Shanahan is being severely bullied by classmates all because he’s vegan. His parents have repeatedly asked the school to take action after a tuna melt was smashed into Jack’s face. Unfortunately the school is treating the Shanahan’s son as the problem. Jack’s dad Lee Hales said that upon meeting with staff they suggested as much:
“Kids will be kids, we realize that, but they can also be cruel,” says Lee “But frankly, I’m shocked by the way is school is handling the situation.”
Lee and his wife Helen Shanahan are both vegan and have their Level 3 qualifications in nutrition and personal training.
Lauran their 17 year old daughter and their oldest son also named Jack 15 choose to be vegan stress their parents.
“We have never forced our views on the kids,” said Lee. “What they want to do, and what they want to be, has always been their decision.”
After another meeting with teachers that was spurred on by Jack telling a kid he’d get cancer for eating meat after he was told to go eat grass again went nowhere Lee said:
“More and more, Jack has been saying he feels unwell, then right as rain when he knows he’s not going to school. It’s got so bad he is now pretending to be ill just to avoid school. This has been going on for three months. He is one of the brightest in his class, but sensitive. I have raised concerns before with the school, but most of the time when we contact them, they tend not to contact us back.”
“The comment he made this week was his way of defending himself. Unlike Jack, I will not concern myself over the health of the families whose children are making Jack’s school life difficult.
“This is a very serious matter and, personally, I think the school should be ashamed. To say that I am angry is an understatement. I am at the end of my (rope).”
“Sadly, this is what vegans face in society. You get silly comments, you get silly questions, and you get that look from people.”
A spokesperson for Bishop Ilsley School said:
“Any allegations about bullying are taken seriously and we have robust procedures in place to deal with any issues that arise. We will not, and cannot, comment on individual cases.”