A boy who lost a finger as he ran away from an alleged attack by schoolchildren has moved with his family away from the area w it’s claimed he faced “constant” bullying, according his mum. Shantal Bailey said her 11-year-old son Raheem experienced racist and physical attacks from September last year when he started at Abertillery Learning Community in Blaenau Gwent. She claimed that in May this year he was beaten by bullies in the school grounds and as he tried to run away he severely injured his right hand on railings resulting in a finger amputation as WalesOnline previously reported .
In a new interview with the BBC Shantal said: “It seems like he has constantly been bullied… He has always been at least name-called and mocked for his height.” She added that the abuse was not always racist but she claimed t had been some “proper racism” including, she alleged, use of the N-word. “I don’t think he understood 100% what the N-word meant,” she said. “Each day he had to build himself up to go in because he knew he was going to get picked on… That’s painful, that a child has to almost prepare themselves before going into a place that’s meant to be safe and tranquil.”
Shantal believes it was telling that Raheem appeared to be relieved when she suggested they leave the area. In an interview with The Times she said the family had moved to England. The mum told the BBC that teachers and head teachers in general should do more to ensure it is not a bullied child who ends up having to leave a school. She said more should be done to make parents take bullying complaints seriously. The school has said the “wellbeing and safety of our pupils and staff remains of paramount importance”.
Shantal added: “I understand not everyone’s home life is great so sometimes… They come to school and take it out. But it shouldn’t be the child that’s coming to school and behaving that’s feeling the pressure.” Her fundraising campaign following the amputation raised £107,000 in donations for Raheem’s treatment. Shantal is now looking into having a prosthetic fitted for her son. She said he has mostly accepted his “new normal” but he occasionally gets down.
Gwent Police told the BBC that its investigations into the incident are ongoing. Blaenau Gwent council has been approached for comment. In a statement in May the council said: “The safety and well-being of all learners and staff remains paramount. We have continued to closely monitor and review the situation.”
Source: Wales Online