Schoolboy’s finger had to be amputated after he hurt it running away from bullies

A mum has described how her son injured his finger so badly it had to be amputated as he allegedly tried to get away from bullies at a Welsh school. Shantal Bailey said her son Raheem heartbreakingly asked why it had happened to him and why people didn’t like him.

Doctors were not able to save the finger on his right hand after he caught it on railings while trying to run away from an alleged attack at break time. His mum claims that the 11-year-old has faced racial and physical abuse since starting at Abertillery Learning Community in September 2021, but didn’t realise how bad it had got until he phoned her crying from school on Monday.

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

Mother-of-four Shantal says she went to the school to discuss what had happened and was “reassured that everything would be handled”. But on Tuesday, she got another call from Raheem who was “screaming in pain”.

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Raheem was screaming in pain
(Image: Family picture)
Raheem in hospital
(Image: Family picture)
He had to have a finger amputated
(Image: Family picture)

She claims: “On Tuesday morning break time, Raheem was attacked and beaten by a group of children whilst in school. He was pushed to the ground and then repeatedly kicked.

“He made a desperate attempt to leave the school grounds in order to escape the situation but caught his finger. I received a phone call from Raheem and then the school informing me of the incident.

“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, despite 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. As time rolled on, it became more apparent that the possibility my son was going to lose his finger was a real one. The doctors then confirmed this was likely. I had to explain this to him while he sat there in agony.”

Raheem is said to still be in shock
(Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)
Raheem with his family – l-r Ruqayyah, Rayhaana, Solomon, and mum, Shantal Bailey
(Image: WalesOnline/Rob Browne)

Raheem had to undergo six hours of surgery to try and save his finger, but it was not successful and had to be amputated. Shantal says: “He is back home and in a lot of pain. I think he is still suffering from shock because he keeps asking why it has happened to him and asking why people don’t like him.

“We have still not seen his hand because it is all bandaged up, but it is going to take some time for him to get used to it. I am extremely upset because from the day of the incident until now, the school has not reached out to 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 the full details of the incident. The well-being and safety of our pupils and staff remains of paramount importance. We will not be commenting further at this time.”

Gwent Police confirmed it is investigating the incident, after receiving a report on Wednesday (May 18). A spokesperson for the force 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 has taken place and we’re working with the school as part of our ongoing enquires.”

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