Springfield, VA – A 12-year-old African American girl caused a controversy when she claimed three white classmates cut her dreadlocks at the school where the Vice President’s wife teaches.
Sixth grader Amari Allen gave interviews to local news media and told reporters that three white boys at Immanuel Christian School in Northern Virginia had pinned her to a playground slide and cut off some of her dreadlocks, CNN reported.
The girl told her parents that the boys called her hair “ugly” and “nappy” during the attack.
Amari Allen told NBC News that one boy grabbed her arms, another put his hands over her mouth, and a third boy cut her hair.
She cried on camera and asked where the adults were who were supposed to protect her.
The alleged incident quickly drew national attention because Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, teaches there part time.
The school and the Fairfax County Police Department launched investigations into the incident, NBC News reported.
On Monday, Immanuel Christian School put out a press release that said the allegations were false and included an apology from the Allen family to all of those who were affected by the little girl’s lies, CNN reported.
"We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false,” Immanuel Christian School Headmaster Stephen Danish said in the statement. “We’re grateful to the Fairfax County Police Department for their diligent work to investigate these allegations.”
"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,” Danish wrote.
"This ordeal has revealed that we as a school family are not immune from the effects of deep racial wounds in our society,” he continued. “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.”
"We will also continue teaching what we’ve taught for more than 40 years: that the love of God is for all people, and as His children we should demonstrate that love equally to all people regardless of their background, what they believe, or how they behave,” Danish wrote.
The Allen family offered an impassioned apology for Amari Allen’s behavior.
"To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused," the family said in a statement. "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. We understand there will be consequences, and we're prepared to take responsibility for them,” her parent’s continued. "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."
Lakeisha Allen, Amari’s aunt, said the family is "devastated" by her niece’s faked hate crime, CNN reported.
"We are so embarrassed, and we are so sorry," Lakeisha Allen said.
She said that Amari Allen did have a dispute with the boys but had embellished the story.