A sixth-grade girl who claimed her hair was cut by three fellow students in a racist attack on her school playground has admitted to making the story up, according to a statement from the Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Va. provided to the Washington Post.
The girl’s family also issued a statement apologizing to the three boys she accused, who have not been publicly identified as of this time.
“We understand there will be consequences and we’re prepared to take responsibility for them,” the statement read. “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.”
Statement of apology from the family of the 12 year old African American girl who now admits she made a false assault allegation against 3 white boys in her class. @nbcwashington pic.twitter.com/JfSVvOF9ZX
— Julie Carey (@JulieCareyNBC) September 30, 2019
“We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false,” school principal Stephen Danish wrote in a letter to parents, before adding that the school feels “tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict. We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing.”
Amari Allen described the alleged attack in a September 28 interview with WUSA-TV, a local CBS affiliate. Allen, who is black, accused three white boys of pinning her down, calling her “ugly,” and referring to her hair as “nappy,” before taking out scissors and cutting off some of her dreadlocks.
The Immanuel Christian School counts Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, as one of its teachers.
News outlets from the Daily Beast to the New York Times picked up on the story after local-news stations broadcast interviews with Allen and her grandmother, both tearfully recounting the alleged attack. NBC Nightly News dedicated a segment of its September 27 airing to Allen. And even today, a local Fox station reported that the school was deliberating the punishments to be given to the three boys.