A school is refusing to expel a group of white pupils who chained a black student to a lamppost and whipped him in a reported ‘mock slave auction’.
The terrified youngster was hit with sticks by seven teens who hurled abhorrent racist slurs at him and made references to the slave trade.
Three of the alleged involved were originally expelled but were allowed to return to the classroom when the board of governors overturned the headteacher’s decision.
Seven white teenage pupils chained a black student to a lamppost and whipped him in a reported ‘mock slave auction’. The school, in Somerset, Bath, refused to expel the pupils following the incident (stock image)
The governors decided the expelled trio should instead be suspended for two weeks along with the other four boys involved.
The secondary school in Bath, Somerset, claims it ‘thoroughly investigated’ the incident in January took action ‘in line with statutory procedures’.
The victim’s parents did not wish to comment but other parents expressed their outrage at the troubling situation.
Police confirmed they are investigating the alleged incident, said to have taken place on school grounds during a lunch break.
The school said: ‘An incident took place in January which involved a group of established friends.
‘This incident was thoroughly investigated by the school and action taken, in line with statutory procedures.
The terrified youngster was hit with sticks by seven teens who hurled racial slurs at him and made references to the slave trade. Three of the alleged involved were expelled but allowed to return to the classroom when the board of governors overturned the headteacher’s decision
‘The police were informed by us and an investigation is ongoing, fully assisted by the school.’
The chair of the board of governors said he was ‘not able to add anything’ to the statement issued by the headteacher. The school did not tell parents about the incident until March 13.
But news of the incident had already spread, and several parents with children at the school contacted local media to express their disgust.
One couple, with mixed-race children, said they were appalled at the implied message to pupils about the acceptability of racist behaviour.
The father told the Bath Chronicle: ‘It just sends the wrong message out to the children.
The governors decided the expelled trio should instead be suspended for two weeks along with the other four boys involved. The secondary school in Bath, Somerset, claims it ‘thoroughly investigated’ the incident in January took action ‘in line with statutory procedures’
‘I’ve got a mixed-race son. He’s thinking “they’re going to stick up for the white kids but we get in trouble if we do something wrong”.’
His partner agreed, saying she was still ‘reeling’ from shock at the apparent attitude of the school towards racism and the impact of that on the traumatised victim.
‘I want that child to know he’s got people around him, supporting him, who will not tolerate that kind of behaviour,’ she said.
‘The boy it happened to is just the sweetest little thing ever. He’s so sweet and kind and gentle. It just makes it even worse.
‘The thing is I’ve got a mixed-race child and so has my partner. They believe nothing will happen to white children if they behave badly but something happens to them.’
She said, as a mother, she did not blame the perpetrators, who were just ‘children’, but that responsibility lay with the parents, the school and the governors.
‘The boys are stupid,’ she said. ‘What they did was really, really stupid and silly. But I’m not sure if they realise what they were doing was so terrible, but the parents…
‘As a parent, my moral compass at the moment is screaming. Someone has to be held accountable for it. Someone has to say sorry.’
The chair of the board of governors said he was ‘not able to add anything’ to the statement issued by the headteacher. The school did not tell parents about the incident until March 13
The school, which cannot be identified for legal reasons, said in a statement: ‘We have become aware of media interest in an incident which took place in January and involved a group of established friends and related to a single incident of unacceptable behaviour within the school grounds.
‘A full investigation was instigated in line with both internal school procedures and Department of Education requirements, including contact with the police.
‘You can be assured that the school has taken this incident exceptionally seriously and that our absolute priority was, and remains, that the right path is taken for all those involved as well as the wider school community.
‘Given the on-going police investigation and the need to protect all those involved, you will understand that it has been necessary to maintain confidentiality and consequently that the school does not wish to comment further..’
A police spokesman said: ‘We were made aware of an incident at [name of school], Bath, on January 22, which took place around lunchtime.
‘Enquiries are ongoing and the school is assisting. Six boys have voluntarily attended a police station and another has agreed to voluntarily attend.’
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