MPs have demanded Thomas Knyvett College in Ashford is investigated after a black girl was attacked in an allegedly racially aggravated assault.
Distressing footage was shared online showing the pupil being punched, kicked and having her hair pulled, while her attackers were egged on by adults outside the school on Monday afternoon.
MP Janet Daby said she lost sleep after watching the footage, which led to a protest outside the school attended by dozens of people. People attending the protest were concerned that the school didn’t do enough to help her. Head teacher, Richard Beeson, said “all the necessary steps” were being taken.
Daby coordinated a letter to Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, condemning the attack and Surrey Police’s description of it as “a fight” between girls. The Labour MP for Lewisham East is one of a number of MPs to have signed a letter to the home secretary.
In the letter, the MPs said: “Reports circulating online and on social media indicate that a number of people, including staff from the school, watched on without acting and failed to disperse onlookers during the incident.
“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.
“If accurate, this inadequate response is cause for considerable concern for the safeguarding of students, in particular black, Asian and ethnic minority students, at the school.
Surrey Police said it was aware of the letter.
A spokeswoman said the force’s initial description of the attack was used because “this is how it was reported into our call centre”.
“The next day once we had further, confirmed information regarding the circumstances and the events leading up to the attack, we updated our statement to reflect it was a serious, racially aggravated assault and this is how we have referred to it since,” she told the BBC.
An Ofsted spokesperson told The Independent they’re aware of attack on the Black schoolgirl at Thomas Knyvett College and are “considering next steps”.
Surrey Police said more than 50 officers and staff have been involved with both the investigation and engagement with the local community.
Officers have arrested four people, including a 39-year-old woman, a 16-year-old girl, and two 11-year-old girls. The 39-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of child neglect and intentionally encouraging the offence.