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23rd May 2022

Welsh school forced to close after boy loses finger ‘escaping racist bullies’

Kieran Galpin


The finger ultimately had to be amputated

A school in Wales has been forced to close for health and safety reasons after a young boy lost his finger whilst “escaping racist bullies”.

11-year-old Raheem Bailey was allegedly attacked, beaten and pushed to the ground at Abertillery Learning Community on May 17, leading to national outrage.

On her Instagram page, his mother, Shantal Bailey, detailed how persistent bullying had cumulated in an emotional Raheem calling her at work. He claimed that the teacher threatened detention “despite him being the one that’s getting picked on.”

Shantal was informed that the issue would be resolved but just a day later, “Raheem was attacked and beaten by a group of children whilst in school.” Having tried to escape the school grounds by mantling a fence, Raheem cut his finger.

“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,” Shantal explained. “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.”

Unfortunately, as time grew on, Shantal had to inform her son that he would most likely lose his finger.

“After 6 hours of surgery to save it, which was ultimately unsuccessful, his finger had to be amputated,” she added.

According to the Mail Online, £75,000 has been raised to get Raheem a prosthetic finger via a GoFundMe campaign. Raheem has also seen an influx of celebrity messages including boxer Anthony Joshua, footballers Jadon Sancho and Ashley Williams, football manager Chris Hughton, pundit Gary Neville and Olympic BMX biker Kye Whyte.

US basketball player Gerald Green also plans on calling Raheem directly, according to LadBible.

Superintendent Vicki Townsend offered a statement on Sunday via Twitter, where she said: “Our officers are supporting and liaising closely with the family of the young boy who, when leaving the school grounds following the reported assault, received a serious injury to his hand as a result of it being caught in a fence.

“Since we received this report, on Wednesday, May 18, there has been significant interest and coverage of this. I would urge people to think about the impact their social media posts and commentary could have on those affected, as the police investigation continues. We’re working closely with the school and officers continue to carry out enquiries in the area.”

Anyone with any information that could help the ongoing police investigation has been urged to call the police on 101, quoting incident number 2200165495.

“Abertillery Learning Community is working with Gwent Police in relation to an ongoing investigation into an alleged assault on the secondary campus,” said Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council in a similar statement released Sunday.

“All campuses at Abertillery Learning Community will be closed tomorrow on health and safety grounds. Learners will access blended learning for Monday, May 23.”

They added: “The safety and well-being of learners and staff remains of paramount importance to the Learning Community and the Local Authority at all times.”

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