Video showing a white British mother, her daughter and friends beating up a Black girl has gone viral, with the woman, daughter and two friends of the daughter seen repeatedly attacking the girl. They pulled her by her braids and pulled her jacket over her head while continuously hitting and viciously kicking her as she fell to the ground.
The incident took place on the afternoon of Monday, Feb. 6, near Thomas Knyvett College but not directly on campus; Surrey police have launched an investigation. The headmaster of the school is also facing backlash for his role.
Richard Beeson, the headmaster, was seen with another male school staff member breaking up the fight at the end of the video. The two males seemingly showed no sense of urgency to stop the attack. A Change.org petition is accusing the headmaster of doing nothing.
Local British activist groups led by Black men held a protest near the school in support of the girl and demanded the headmaster to be held accountable. The crowd was heard chanting, “steppers only, tangible solutions and chatting’s done.” The protestors criticized the school for not taking the situation seriously because it was a Black student.
The school closed down on Tuesday morning because of the protest. One mother told reporters that her son has been scared to return to school since the incident took place.
“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,” commented Izuchi Akande under a post of the video.
Another comment said, “The head teacher and the other man by the gate must be sacked for not separating the girls. The girls and their mothers needs to be sentenced to prison.”
One person who signed the petition called the mother “unfit”.
“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 !!!
The headmaster and lead investigator both released statements about the situation.
“I was shocked to see some of the video footage of this fight and the level of violence from young people outside one of our local schools. Every school child should feel safe in the local community and not the target of any kind of violence as they leave school premises,” said inspector Maxine Cilia. “Surrey Police are now investigating this incident and gathering further evidence with the full cooperation of the school.”
She also mentioned that to ensure children’s safety, there will be more police patrolling the area when students are being released.
The headmaster sent out a letter to parents to make them aware of the incident and to ensure the safety of students. He has yet to comment on any of the backlash received from the community.
The 39-year-old white mother was arrested along with the 16-year-old girl, 11-year-old girl, a 10-year-old girl, and a 43-year-old man, according to Surrey Police. There is also a warrant out for the arrest of a 15-year-old girl, which will make the sixth suspect.
The Black girl attacked in the video was hospitalized for minor injuries and a cousin’s best friend of the girl says she is doing fine.
No action has been taken against the school headmaster.