Public donates more than £83,000 for schoolboy who lost finger after fleeing ‘racist bullies'

Public donates more than £83,000 for schoolboy who lost finger after fleeing ‘racist bullies'

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The family of a Welsh schoolboy who was left seriously injured while attempting to escape 'school bullies' has been flooded with financial support, after launching a fundraiser to help with his recovery.

Raheem Bailey, 11, lost a finger after it broke in two while climbing the school fence at Abertillery Learning Community. Despite six hours of surgery to try and save the digit, it was amputated by doctors.

In a post to Instagram which soon went viral, his mother Shantal Bailey alleged her son faced “racial and physical abuse, as well as more generic bullying about his height among other things” since starting at the school last September.

“On Monday, Raheem called me in tears whilst I was at work, saying that he’s being bullied and that the teacher threatened him with detention despite him being the one that’s getting picked on.

“After work I attended the school and informed them that all this needed to stop. I was then reassured that everything would be handled by the Tuesday morning,” she said.

However, Ms Bailey added that during break time the next day (Tuesday), Raheem was attacked, beaten and repeatedly kicked by a group of children. He would go on to break his finger while making a desperate attempt to escape the situation.

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Ms Bailey continued: “The school told me that the ambulance wouldn’t arrive for two hours, but advised me not to drive Raheem to A&E myself.

“Raheem, his baby brother and I were taken to a minor injuries unit by the school bus, depite4 them knowing that his injury was severe.

“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.”

She concluded the post by alleging the school had not contacted her from the day of incident to sharing the images on Thursday.

On that same day, Ms Bailey launched a GoFundMe page to fund a prosthetic finger for Raheem and costs associated with his recovery.

It now stands at almost £84,000 at the time of writing, with close to 6,000 people donating money to the cause.

One donation reads: “Never lose hope, Raheem – there’s a lot of love out there in the world for you. You are amazing!

“I hope this tiny donation helps to make a real difference in your life and shows you what an amazing young man we all think you are.”

Another donor added: “Raheem, I hope this fundraiser shows there are more people in this world who would like to pull you up rather than drag you down. God bless you, my little friend.”

“Bullies never win. Everyone supports you and you will get through this. Hold your head high, do well in your studies and make a good life for yourself,” said a third.

In a statement to The Independent, Abertillery Learning Community said of the incident: “We are currently working closely with Gwent Police and the local authority to establish the full details of the incident.

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

Meanwhile, the local police force has confirmed it is looking into the incident.

“A multi-agency meeting has taken place and we’re working with the school as part of our ongoing enquiries,” a Gwent Police spokesperson said.

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