A mum has described how her son injured his finger so badly he had to be amputated when he allegedly tried to walk away from bullies at a Welsh school. Shantal Bailey said her son Raheem asked heartbreakingly why this happened to him and why people didn’t like him.
Doctors could not save the finger on his right hand after grabbing him on railings as he tried to flee from a suspected attack at break time. Her mother claims the 11-year-old has been racially and physically abused since joining the Abertillery Learning Community in September 2021, but did not realize how much worse the situation had gotten until until he calls her crying from school on Monday.
“He had mentioned a few incidents of people being ‘mean to him’ recently, I hadn’t realized the extent of what he was going through until one incident this week,” she says. “On Monday, Raheem called me in tears while I was at work, saying he was being bullied but was the one who was threatened with detention when he was the one being harassed. “
Shantal, a mother of four, says she went to the school to discuss what had happened and was “reassured that everything would be dealt with”. But on Tuesday she received another call from Raheem who was “screaming in pain”.
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She says: “Tuesday morning during the break, Raheem was attacked and beaten by a group of children while he was at school. He was pushed to the ground and then repeatedly kicked.
“He tried desperately to leave the school grounds to escape the situation but got caught in the finger. I received a phone call from Raheem and then from the school informing me of the incident .
“The school told me the ambulance wouldn’t arrive for two hours, but advised me not to drive Raheem to A&E myself. Raheem, his little brother and I were taken to a rescue unit. minor injuries from the school bus, when they knew his injury was serious.
“We spent the next five hours waiting for an ambulance to transfer us to where he would have surgery, in Swansea, 50 miles from his home and school. Over time, he became more obvious that the possibility of my son losing his finger was real. The doctors later confirmed that it was likely. I had to explain this to him while he sat there in agony.
Raheem had to undergo six hours of surgery to try and save his finger, but it was unsuccessful and had to be amputated. Shantal says, “He’s back home and in a lot of pain. I think he’s still in shock because he keeps asking why this happened to him and why people don’t like him. .
“We still haven’t seen his hand because it’s all bandaged up, but it’s going to take him some getting used to. I’m extremely upset because from the day of the incident until now, the school did not reach to ask me to check on his well-being.
A spokeswoman for Abertillery Learning Community said: “We are currently working closely with Gwent Police and the local authority to establish full details of the incident. The wellbeing and safety of our pupils and staff remains of paramount importance. will not comment further at this time.”
Gwent Police have confirmed they are investigating the incident, after receiving a report on Wednesday May 18. A force spokesman said: “We received a report of an incident at a school in Abertillery around 1pm on Wednesday where an 11-year-old boy was injured. A multi-agency meeting was held and we are working with the school as part of our ongoing investigations.”
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