11-year-old boy who lost finger 'fleeing bullies' receives more than £66,000 in donations
Raheem Bailey tried to escape the bullies by climbing a fence but "his finger got caught and attached to it, causing the skin to strip and the finger to break in half"
More than £66,000 has been donated to help an 11-year-old who lost his finger while “fleeing school bullies”, according to his mother.
Raheem Bailey was attacked, beaten, kicked and pushed to the ground by a group of children at school on Tuesday, his mother Shantal Bailey said.
Ms Bailey said her son tried to escape but got his finger caught while climbing a fence, and it later had to be amputated.
She said Raheem has been facing “racial and physical abuse” as well as being bullied about his height since he started secondary school at Abertillery Learning Community in south Wales in September.
Ms Bailey described her son’s plight on a GoFundMe page with a target of £10,000 which she set up to raise money for a prosthetic finger and money to aid his recovery.
As of Saturday evening, more than £66,000 had been donated and the amount 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.
“After six hours of surgery to save it, which was ultimately unsuccessful, his finger had to be amputated.”
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 his 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.
The incident prompted the Welsh Government to release a statement, saying: “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.”
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.”
Gwent Police and Abertillery Learning Community have been contacted.