Darren Adam 1am - 4am
£60k raised for boy, 11, who had finger amputated after injuring it 'running from bullies'
21 May 2022, 22:25 | Updated: 21 May 2022, 22:31
More than £60,000 has been donated to help an 11-year-old boy who had his finger amputated after injuring it running away from "racist" bullies.
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Shantal Bailey said her son Raheem was attacked, beaten, kicked and pushed to the ground by a group of children at his school in south Wales on Tuesday.
Ms Bailey, whose post about her son's plight went viral on Facebook, said her son tried to escape the bullies but got his finger caught while climbing a fence.
After six hours of surgery it had to be amputated.
Ms Bailey claimed her son has been facing "racial and physical abuse" since he started secondary school at Abertillery Learning Community in September.
He has also been bullied about his height, Ms Bailey said.
She had set up a GoFundMe page in hope of raising £10,000 for a prosthetic finger and money to aid his recovery.
More than £66,000 had been donated as of Saturday evening, and was continuing to rise.
In a message on the page, Ms Bailey wrote: "I'm fundraising to get my 11-year-old son, Raheem Bailey, a prosthetic finger and any additional cost to get him on the road to recovery.
"Raheem has faced racial and physical abuse, as well as more generic bullying about his height and other things, since he started secondary school in September 2021.
"Although he had mentioned a few incidents of people being 'mean to him' recently, I did not realise the extent of what he was going through until an incident this week."
She said that as he tried to escape the school grounds during the attack he tried to climb a fence.
"His finger got caught and attached to it, causing the skin to strip and the finger to break in half," she said.
The incident has caused uproar online, with the Welsh government releasing a statement saying it "condemns bullying and racial harassment".
The full statement 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."
In another message on Facebook, Ms Bailey identified her son's school and claimed Raheem called her up crying on Monday, saying he was being bullied.
Identifying her son's school as Abertillery Learning Community, she wrote: "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 added.
A spokeswoman for Abertillery Learning Community told Wales Online: "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."
A Gwent Police spokesperson also told the publication: "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 has taken place and we're working with the school as part of our ongoing inquiries."