A 14-year-old schoolgirl “tried to commit suicide” and “self-harm” after being the subject of “racial slurs” at school, culminating in a violent attack in which her hair was pulled out. Keziah Falanga was “jumped” by three or four boys at Hendon School in north-west London, having previously been compared “to a gorilla”.
Her sister Christesse Lukeba told Express.co.uk that the abuse has been going on for a “couple of years” and that “this is not the first time she’s been targeted by people at her school”.
Keziah, who has been told she is a member of the “BLM squad” due to having a number of black friends, was attacked by four boys out of sight of teaching staff and it took her friends “to come to her to pull the boys apart”.
Ms Lukeba claimed that staff at Hendon labelled her sister as “the aggressor” and that although one teacher offered her “paracetamol”, others showed “no concern whatsoever”.
Ms Lukeba says she knows what happened in the aftermath of the incident, as Keziah rang her immediately and remained on the phone whilst teachers spoke to her.
“She got out of the fight [and] she called me straight away”, Ms Lukeba said.
“The moment I heard her scream from the top of her lungs, that’s when my whole mood changed.
“‘Keziah, why are you screaming?’, she asked, to which the schoolgirl responded: “I’ve just been jumped, these boys have jumped me”.
Ms Lukeba said that she immediately began video-calling Keziah.
She said: “I called her on FaceTime and we were talking, she didn’t even realise that her hair was missing.”
It was during this FaceTime call, that Ms Lukeba saw the gaping hole in her sister’s braids. She said that upon alerting Keziah to her missing hair the 14-year-old’s “mood just literally broke down”.
The older sister said she told her younger sibling to “stop” and “turn your head to the side”, at which point she confirmed Keziah did have a “bald patch” as a result of the attack.
Ms Lukeba said that such is the culture of inaction by teaching staff at Hendon School in the face of bullying, children have to take justice into their own hands.
“Every child in that school is every man for themselves. If you get bullied you have to stand up for yourself because the teachers are not going to do anything.
“Every time she [Keziah] complains, they don’t do anything. She’s labelled as the aggressor because she stands up to these people.”
A formal Ofsted complaint against Hendon School has been lodged by Ms Lukeba.
Keziah is a vulnerable child who, “considering she’s only 14 now, has had a really really tough life”, her sister said.
Ms Lukeba went on to say that challenges in her upbringing combined with “having this [abuse] in school” means that “of course” her sister is going to “act up”.
However, she claimed that the consistent abuse has “caused her to self-harm”.
“She’s tried to commit suicide so many times and she’s only 14 and she doesn’t get any help”.
A spokesperson for Hendon School said: “We cannot comment on the specific details of the allegations while we investigate and work with the local authority and Police to establish the facts.
“However, we can say as a school that prides itself on its inclusive culture, we take all allegations of racism and bullying extremely seriously and would take strong disciplinary action should we find any instances of this happening among our pupils.
“We are aware of what is being shared on social media and are working with partner agencies to ensure the pupils involved in the incident are protected from those wanting to take the law into their own hands.
“We would like to reassure our community that the wellbeing of our students continues to be our number one concern and we continue to support them at this time.”