Raheem Bailey is a name you would have seen all over your social feeds over the weekend. Devastatingly, the 11-year-old had a finger amputated after he suffered an injury trying to flee bullies at school.
The young Black student was attacked, beaten and pushed to the ground in his school in Abertillery, Wales, based on racist bullying, said his mother Shantal.
Doctors worked six hours to save Raheem’s fingers but ultimately could not save it.
Since she shared the news, the story has gained worldwide attention, with the likes of Anthony Joshua, Jadon Sancho and US basketball player Gerald Green speaking out.
The mum also started a GoFundMe page with the intention of raising £10k for Raheem’s medical costs, including a prosthetic finger. But since the story broke out, donations have poured in, far exceeding the family’s expectations.
Currently, the donations stand nearly at £100,000, at £94,104
Shantal Bailey wrote on the donations page: “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.”
Though she had been aware of some comments, she was not aware of the extent of her son’s bullying, she said.
“Raheem was attacked by a group of children and beaten (mainly kicked) after being pushed to the ground. Consequently, Raheem made a desperate attempt to leave the school grounds in order to escape the situation.
“Whilst climbing the fence, his finger got caught and attached to it, causing the skin to strip and the finger to break in half it.”
The mother said she had contacted the school about the incident and was assured it would be dealt with.
The school, Abertillery Learning Community, announced yesterday that it would be closed today as it work with police to investigate the issue.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council said that all campuses would be closed on Monday, saying: “Abertillery Learning Community is working with Gwent Police in relation to an ongoing investigation into an alleged assault on the secondary campus.
“All campuses at Abertillery Learning Community will be closed tomorrow on health and safety grounds.
“Learners will access blended learning for Monday, 23rd May. The safety and well-being of learners and staff remains of paramount importance to the Learning Community and the Local Authority at all times.”