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Brighton schoolgirl hounded by racist bullies
A gang of racist yobs has waged a four-month hate campaign against a teenage girl.
The 14-year-old girl, who is mixed race, has been called appalling names, taunted on the internet and even threatened with a knuckleduster.
The mother of the Varndean School student from Brighton, said the bigoted abuse had “seriously damaged” her daughter.
Her mother said: “She’s developing a complex about how she looks because they keep on calling her these terrible racist names.
“There’s a group of 30 boys and girls who are a law unto themselves but nothing is being done.”
The mother said she had contacted The Argus as a “last resort” after growing frustrated with a lack of action.
The abuse started when the girl, a talented singer-songwriter, fell out with friends at the end of February.
In retaliation, a 30-strong gang started calling her racist names and sending text messages telling her to “go back to Africa”.
As she walked to and from school, the bullies would shout racial abuse at her.
On Facebook, teenage bigots told her she was a “black bitch” alongside other insults too offensive for The Argus to print.
And when Varndean School produced a school brochure in which she was pictured, a member of the gang defaced it, scrawling an offensive racist word on her photograph.
The gang also regularly told the terrified teenager she was going to get “a kicking” – and soon the abuse did turn physical.
At a funfair on The Level in late May, she was set upon by a 20-strong gang of girls and boys.
They pushed her around, taunted her and tried to hold her still. To her horror, she saw another girl putting on a knuckleduster and preparing to hit her.
Terrified, she managed to wriggle free and ran to London Road, where she hid in a grocer’s shop until her mother came to rescue her.
Even after the bullies were twice reported to the police the abuse continued, and her mother claimed on one occasion the school sent her daughter home in a taxi because staff feared for her safety.
Last week, she was sitting in Queens Park with two friends when a group of boys from the gang spotted her.
They began taunting her with racist names and threw bricks at her head before she ran off.
The bully who scrawled the racist word on the school brochure was caught and excluded by Varndean School, but her mother said headmaster William Deighan had still “completely failed” to protect her daughter.
She said: “Why wasn’t this child expelled?”
“Racism is clearly a serious issue at the school”.
A Sussex Police spokesman said the force was aware of the two complaints made against the bullies and was in contact with the girl and her family.
William Deighan, headmaster of Varndean School, refused to speak to The Argus.
But a school spokesman said: “We can confirm that there was an allegation made of a racist incident that involved a deeply unpleasant and racist epithet being written on a picture of a student.
“The school was alerted about this and the young person concerned was excluded pending an investigation.
“The victim of the abuse has been supported by the school and there has been communication between the school and the parent concerned.
“Any incident of racism or bullying is taken extremely seriously by Varndean School, as can be seen in the prompt action that was taken to exclude the student involved.
“The school robustly and vigorously denies any suggestions that there is a culture of such behaviour at Varndean, or that the school has failed to act when an incident of bullying or racism has been brought to its attention.
“The school is not able to comment in any more detail, because it has a duty of confidentiality and because it would not wish to jeopardise any ongoing investigation.”
The Argus has not printed the girl's name on our website so it will not show up in future online searches for her.