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Philadelphia Student Recovers from First-Degree Burns After Classmate Sets Her Hair on Fire

An eighth-grader at Samuel Gompers School in Philadelphia said she thought she was going to die after her bully lit her hair on fire.

Nevaeh Robinson, 13, suffered from first-degree burns and currently wears a scarf to cover the bald patches around her hairline.

“I’d rather have her here with no hair, than not here,” the student’s mother, Tanya Robinson, told CBS Philly.

Nevaeh Robinson tears up during interview

(photo credit: CBS screenshot)

Nevaeh said she experiences head pain “from the back, all the way up to the front” and wept as she recounted Oct. 16, when the incident took place.

The student said she was outside standing at her bus stop last Tuesday when a male classmate came over to her and set her hair on fire with a lighter. Other kids stood around laughing as she strenuously tapped her hair to put out the fire.

“When it happened, I panicked real fast, because I thought I was going to die because it burned my hair so fast,” said Nevaeh.

The student’s mother said she called the police as soon as her daughter came home and took her to the hospital. She added that this isn’t the first time a bully has physically assaulted her daughter. Two years ago, Nevaeh was harassed at another school and had her thumb broken.

“I’ve spoken to the school district, I’ve spoken to the principal at the school,” Tanya told the news station. “I want expulsion if you’re setting kids on fire.”

She added that the student responsible for assaulting her daughter should be kicked out of the school.

The Philadelphia School District has yet to issue a statement.

Philadelphia police are currently investigating the incident and medical officials said Nevaeh is lucky to be alive.

“The doctor told me her hairstyle saved her life,” Tanya noted. “Had it been different, she might not be here.”

Tanya said she plans to begin homeschooling her daughter in a couple of weeks. She also hopes the bully attending Gompers School is reprimanded.

“This shouldn’t be swept under the rug,” said Tanya.

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