“I was constantly suicidal and I’ve been gaslit the whole time”: Ex-Rotherham Student speaks out on rise of local hate crime in schools

by | Oct 23, 2023

Image: Precious Adegboye

An Ex-Rotherham student has shared their experience of hate crime in Rotherham College, amidst a shocking rise in hate crime in schools across Rotherham. 

Precious Adegboye, 19, Maltby, amassed almost 340,000 views after posting about her experience of religious hate crime in Rotherham. 

Miss Adegboye identified as a Jehovah’s’ witness at the time of her bullying and was dating another student.

She said: “I had told him that I didn’t like telling people because it made me stand out a lot.” 

After explaining to her peers she was a Jehovah’s witness, she noticed a shift in their behaviours towards her. 

She said: “By the end of the school year, all my classmates were against me. I was isolated.”

Principal reports from the School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) found that around 5,700 racially motivated hate crimes took place in schools and colleges in 2019. 

Rotherham is an area that struggles with the prevention of hate crime.

The Safer Rotherham partnership found that recorded hate crime in Rotherham increased by 17% in 2020-21 compared to the previous year and has increased further since. 

The treatment from her peers and teachers drove Adegboye to leave her religion. 

Miss Adegboye said: “I just didn’t want to be there anymore. I knew I wouldn’t thrive there. Not while there was a power imbalance. I was constantly suicidal and felt like I had been gaslit the whole time. 

“I noticed that my teachers started treating me differently, a complete shift in their behaviour.

“I tried to raise the issues to the college but they just called me annoying for ‘Vexatious’ emailing them.” 

Miss Adegboye is not the first young person to speak out publicly about hate crime. Miss Adegboye was inspired to post her Tik-Tok after watching a video released by Tiktoker ‘Amybecz’ on her experience with bullying. 

She added: “I tried to take the school to court over what had occurred. For direct discrimination based on race and religion, but I was out of the time frame.” 

Miss Adegboye is one of many who have been affected by the rise of religious hate crime in Rotherham.

After the success of her original video which was posted on the 10 April, Adegboye has continued to post about her experience and advocate for students suffering from bullying and mental health issues. 

Rotherham College responded to their right of reply, stating that they believed they had followed the College Safeguarding Policy: “The purpose of this appendix of the College Safeguarding Policy is to provide a clear set of guidelines to staff regarding the actions they must take if they become aware that a learner is at risk of abuse from peers including through bullying, cyber-bullying and sexting.”