Furious protesters gather outside school after ‘racially aggravated attack’ as rapper Dave leads calls for teacher to be sacked

9 February 2023, 10:31 | Updated: 10 February 2023, 01:50

Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large.
Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large. Picture: LBC/Twitter

By Danielle DeWolfe

Furious protesters have gathered outside a Surrey school after a "racially aggravated attack" on girl, 15, amid calls to sack teachers for "not stepping in".

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Police were called to the assault outside Thomas Knyvett College in Ashford, Surrey, at 2.30pm on Monday where they found the injured victim.

Shocking footage of the attack showed two girls, aged 15 and 16-years-old respectively, set upon the victim, who is black, with three other individuals.

The footage has now been viewed over half a million times on social media and shows the girl's braids being ripped from her head, as a young girl, dressed in a pink track suit, continues to kick her head as part of the sustained attack.

Following the arrival of police, a 39-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl, two 11-year-old girls (reports of their ages vary), and a 43-year-old man have been arrested over the attack.

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Protester speaks out after 'racially-aggravated attack' at site of college

Following the incident, rapper Dave tweeted: "So this principal RICHARD BEESON in Ashford's Thomas Knyvett College is gonna stroll in and watch as that black child is ATTACKED by a mob and they think that can run? WE NEED HIM OUT OF THAT JOB ASAP."

He added: "Don't make this weird Thomas Knyvett 'cause we will wait outside of your college grounds till every member of staff in this video is sacked. DO THE RIGHT THING BEFORE WE FORCE YOU TO."

Angry protesters surrounded the school on Thursday, with one telling LBC: "We don’t want to make this a one-day thing. This happens all the time, they give us these one days, people protest and make noise and then they disappear. It’s shoved under the rug.

"We’re trying to keep as much attention on it like everything else."

He explained: "A lot of us are living in fear because we know the history. We know the history of the racism that’s been happening here on this island.

"There’s a lot of people living in fear - they don't want to come out or stand up to the situation and what’s happening."

Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large
Two 11-year-old girls and woman 38, among five arrested over 'racially aggravated attack' - as sixth teen remains at large. Picture: Twitter

Adult voices could be heard throughout the altercation, which appeared to be encouraging the fight and instructing the teenagers on tactics.

Officers say a sixth attacker, a 16-year-old girl, continued to be sought over the incident and is aware of the police interest.

Throughout the prolonged, brutal assault, which lasted for two-minutes, screams could be heard, with five girls and an adult surrounding the victim.

Chief Inspector Dallas McDermott said: “We know this will be concerning and upsetting for the victims, their friends and family, and for the wider community who are understandably shocked and outraged at the violence in this video.

“I want to make clear that the suspects being bailed does not mean justice won’t be pursued further or achieved.

“Officers and staff working on this case have found the footage as distressing as the public have. I can assure you the speed and vigour with which we are working to build this investigation has not wavered. We will be issuing updates as and when we can.”

A spokesman for Surrey Police said: 'We are aware that this incident will have caused concern among students, parents, and staff at Thomas Knyvett College, as well as the wider community.
A spokesman for Surrey Police said: 'We are aware that this incident will have caused concern among students, parents, and staff at Thomas Knyvett College, as well as the wider community. Picture: Twitter

It comes as a petition has been launched calling for the school's headmaster, Richard Beeson, to be brought to account following his lack of action over the incident.

Mr Beeson can be seen intervening at the end of the two-minute video, stepping in alongside another man in a bid to separate the group as braids lay strewn across the pavement.

The page, which has now garnered nearly 70,000 signatures, was set up by Magdalene Imonioro and features the slogan 'Enough is enough! Black Lives Matter!'

The description accompanying the petition reads: "A young black female student was viciously attacked by a white female student, her sisters and mother right outside her school - Thomas Knyvett college.

The petition calls for Headmaster Richard Beeson to be held to account over a lack of intervention during the prolonged attack.
The petition calls for Headmaster Richard Beeson to be held to account over a lack of intervention during the prolonged attack. Picture: Change.org

"No attempt was made by anyone to stop this vicious attack.

"The principal at this college casually strolls into the scene and does nothing to break up the fight. He allows the perpetrators of the crime to walk away after inflicting bodily harm on the young girl."

One signee wrote: "This is highly unacceptable & needs to be properly addressed. That adult incensing her kids to brutally attack one young black girl should be sentenced & declared unfit to be a mom. Social workers swing into action & take those rude kids into care!!!"

While another says: "Parents should be taken to court for edging the girls on and the Head Teacher sacked for allowing this to go on for so long - absolutely disgusting."

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