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Black boy, 11, loses finger while fleeing ‘school bullies’

Black boy, 11, loses finger while fleeing ‘school bullies’

A Black schoolboy had to have his finger amputated after he was injured while fleeing school “bullies”.

Shantal Bailey says her son, Raheem Bailey, 11, has experienced racial and physical abuse since he began attending Abertillery Learning Community, in Wales, in September 2021.

Ms Bailey complained to school staff on Monday after Raheem told her he was threatened with detention, despite him being the victim. She said she was reassured the matter would be dealt with by the following morning.

However, on Tuesday, Raheem was beaten by a group of children at morning break time, his mother said.
In his desperation to escape the situation, he attempted to flee the school grounds but caught his finger in a fence, resulting in his finger breaking in two.

“Raheem was attacked and beaten by a group of children whilst in school. He was pushed to the ground and then repeatedly kicked,” Ms Bailey said.

“Consequently, Raheem made a desperate attempt to leave the school grounds in order to escape the situation. I received a phone call from Raheem and then the school informing me of the incident.”

Staff members at the school informed Ms Bailey that an ambulance wouldn’t arrive for two hours so they were taken to A&E in the school bus.

“Raheem, his baby brother and I were taken to a minor injuries unit by the school bus, despite them knowing that his injury was severe,” she added.

“We spent the next five hours waiting for an ambulance to transfer us to the location where he would undergo surgery, in Swansea, 50 miles away from his home and school.

“As time rolled on, it became more apparent that the possibility my son was going to lose his finger was a real one. The doctors then confirmed this was likely. I had to explain this to him while he sat there in agony.”

Despite six hours of surgery to try to save Raheem’s finger, it had to be amputated. Ms Bailey is currently crowdfunding to purchase a personalised prosthetic finger for her son.

“From the day of the incident until now Abertillery learning community have not reached out to me to check on his well-being,” Ms Bailey said.

A spokesperson for Abertillery Learning Community said: “We are currently working closely with Gwent Police and the local authority to establish the full details of the incident.

“The well-being and safety of our pupils and staff remains of paramount importance. We will not be commenting further at this time.”

Gwent Police confirmed it was looking into the incident.

“A multi-agency meeting has taken place and we’re working with the school as part of our ongoing enquires,” a spokesperson told The Independent.

A Welsh government spokesperson said: “We condemn bullying and racial harassment in any form and expect allegations and incidents of bullying and racism to be fully investigated by schools with appropriate action taken to address the matter and prevent further instances from happening.

“We understand that this incident is being investigated by the school and the local authority, and that Gwent Police are involved and carrying out an investigation. As such, it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

Nadine White
Race Correspondent

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