A 12-year-old Virginia girl who accused three white boys of cutting her dreadlocks now says her story was false.
Amari Allen said last week that she was cornered on the playground, where one boy covered her mouth, another grabbed her arms, and a third cut off sections of her hair. She said they called her hair “nappy” and told her she was “ugly,” NBC Washington reported at the time.
But on Monday, her family and the school, Immanuel Christian School in Springfield — where Karen Pence, the wife of Vice President Mike Pence, works part time as an art teacher — released statements saying that Allen’s story was false.
“To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused,” Allen’s grandparents, who are her legal guardians, said in a statement to The Washington Post. “To the administrators and families of Immanuel Christian School, we are sorry for the damage this incident has done to trust within the school family and the undue scorn it has brought to the school. To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust.”
The statement continued: “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 school’s principal, Stephen Danish, updated the school’s community in an email Monday morning, according to The Post.
“We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false. We’re grateful to the Fairfax County Police Department for their diligent work to investigate these allegations,” Danish wrote, per The Post.
“While we are relieved to hear the truth and bring the events of the past few days to a close, we also feel 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.”