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Black girl who accused her white classmates of cutting her dreadlocks made up story, family admits

2019-10-01

The family of a 12-year-old girl who accused three white classmates of holding her down and shearing off her dreadlocks at a private Virginia school admitted on Monday that she made it all up.

Immanuel Christian School issued a statement confirming the story was a hoax along with an apology from the child’s family.

“To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused," the family wrote.

Amari Allen’s story, which went viral after she gave multiple interviews, alleged the assault had taken place Sept. 23 at the school’s Fairfax campus, prompting nationwide outrage, accusations of racism and even a police investigation.

The girl, who’s black, said three white sixth-grade boys had called her hair “ugly” and “nappy” and pinned her down on a playground, where one of them was said to have covered her mouth while another held her hands and the third cut her medium-length dreads with scissors.

Amari’s mother, Cynthia Allen, told local station WUSA that the incident was “very painful” and called for the boys to be kicked out of school. The family had also accused the boys of routinely taking the girl’s lunch at school and calling her names.

In their statement Monday, the family also apologized to the school and the community.

“To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust,” the statement reads. “We understand there will be consequences, and we’re prepared to take responsibility for them. We know that it will take time to heal, and we hope and pray that the boys, their families, the school and the broader community will be able to forgive us in time.”

The head of Immanuel Christian School, Stephen Danish, thanked the police for investigating and said the school feels “tremendous pain” for all families involved in the story.

“We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing,” he wrote. “This ordeal has revealed that we as a school family are not immune from the effects of deep racial wounds in our society. We view this incident as an opportunity to be part of a learning and healing process, and we will continue to support the students and families involved.”

The school made headlines earlier this year when Karen Pence, the vice president’s wife, accepted a part-time teaching job there.