A Leeds mum says her family have been receiving “very vicious threats” since a video of her 15-year-old son punching another pupil near The Morley Academy went viral.
Maria Rehman’s son has been accused of launching a racially motivated attack on a 15-year-old Sikh pupil, after a video of the fight was published online and watched over 140,000 times.
Mrs Rehman, claims her son decided to fight the boy after he received abusive messages online. She says her son is not a racist and the school has now dealt with the incident.
“The boys are not friends now but they are getting on,” she said. “It happened months ago and they have moved on, but it’s the adults who won’t let it go.”
“He’s a boy and he’s being threatened by adults.”
She says her son is “really shaken” because he has been sent dozens of threatening messages online and was grabbed and punched by a masked man on January 30, when he was walking home from school.
A group of men were also escorted away from the school gates on Monday, March 2 after they turned up looking for him, said Mrs Rehman.
A West Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We are aware of the reports and we are working with all those concerned to reach an appropriate resolution.”
“It’s just horrific,” said Mrs Rehman. “I don’t leave him on his own anymore. He’s not himself, he’s not eating or sleeping.
“We’ve been getting death threats and people saying things like ‘watch your backs’ and ‘you are going to get it’.
“I’m only sending him to school because he is in Year 10 and has to be thinking about his GCSEs. Why should he miss out on his education?
“We just want to be left alone. It was just two stupid boys who wanted to fight it out and they did. They thought it was done and dusted.”
She added: “We have also been told our home address has been published online and my husband’s car has been damaged, the windscreen is broken and there are dents on it.
“He’s now parking the car miles away from the house.
“How do I explain why adults would do this? There’s no reason for it.”
West Yorkshire Police have confirmed they are investigating the attack on the 15-year-old Sikh pupil, which is being treated as a hate crime, but they are “absolutely satisfied” that it has been investigated thoroughly by the school.
Speaking after the video was published, Adam Ryder, principal at The Morley Academy, said: “This incident happened outside of the academy day and took place approximately five miles away from the academy premises.
“When the incident was brought to the attention of the academy, we worked closely with the families and supported them with reporting the incident to the police.
“Since then, we have fully cooperated and supported the police with their investigation.
“In addition to this, those involved in the incident whose behaviour was wholly and totally unacceptable, have been appropriately sanctioned in line with our Positive Discipline policy.
“I want to take this opportunity to reassure parents and carers, as well as other members of our community, that the academy has taken this incident extremely seriously and have been working closely with the families of the students involved as well as West Yorkshire Police and the Leeds Safeguarding Team.”