Headteacher ‘should be sacked for failing to step in when black girl was beaten’

Nearly 100,000 people have signed a petition demanding ‘justice is served’ following a ‘racially aggravated assault’ on a black student.

The 15-year-old girl was set upon by a group outside Ashford’s Thomas Knyvett College, leaving her badly injured and unable to speak or eat.

Criticisms have been raised that no attempt was made to stop the incident with headteacher Richard Beeson appearing at the scene minutes later, asking: ‘Can we let go please. Thank you’.

The author of the change.org petition called for him to be sacked, claiming he allowed the ‘perpetrators of the crime to walk away after inflicting bodily harm on the young girl’.

There has been a huge public outcry over the incident.

A group of MPs wrote to Home Secretary Suella Braverman calling on her to ensure ‘justice is served’.

Penned by Labour MP for Lewisham East Janet Daby, the letter urged the school to ‘immediately’ evaluate its response.

‘A number of people, including staff from the school, watched on without acting and failed to disperse onlookers during the incident,’ it read.

‘This bystander apathy follows reports that the school failed to take action against the racist abuse of the victim in the days leading up to the incident.’

Five people have been arrested in connection with Monday’s attack, including two 11-year-old girls.

All have since been released on bail while a 15-year-old remains at large.

Police are treating it as a ‘racially aggravated’ assault, with footage circulating online showing the teenager being punched and kicked in the face.

Nine of her braids were ripped out.

Onlookers can be heard shouting ‘kick her in the face’, while several passers-by are seen watching without intervening.

On Wednesday, there was a demonstration outside the school attended by dozens of people while British musician Dave led calls for staff to be sacked.

Police say more than 50 officers have been investigating or engaging with the local community over the last three days.

‘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,’ Chief Inspector Dallas McDermott said.

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

The letter to the Home Secretary, which was signed by 30 MPs from across the political parties, asked if the victim was being supported enough.

It said the girl must be reassured that everything will be investigated and ‘justice will be served’.

Signatories include former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Tory MP Robert Goodwill, the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas as well as SNP and Lib Dem MPs.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Thursday, Ms Daby said she had ‘lost sleep’ over Monday’s ‘horrific’ attack.

‘This [incident] has torn through the heart of so many communities, and communities are in pain and outraged because of what’s happening,’ she said.

‘It’s the responsibility of the local government and central government that this incident is being investigated fully’.

In a statement on its website, The Howard Partnership Trust that runs the school said the welfare and care of the victim were ‘uppermost in our thoughts’.

‘We are taking this situation extremely seriously and are working with all agencies involved’, it read.

‘We need to ask for calm and patience while vital work is undertaken to establish the facts.’

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