Amari Allen claimed three white boys held her down and cut her “ugly, nappy” dreadlocks in a playground at a Virginia private Christian school last Monday.
A week later, she admitted to making up the story.
Her family apologized and asked for forgiveness.
The 12-year-old “straight A” student and violin player said that while telling her she “should not have been born,” one of the boys covered her mouth, another held her head, and the third took scissors and cut her locs. That was her claim. She said the incident occurred at the Immanuel Christian School in Springfield in Northern, Virginia where tuition is $12,000 a year.
The school shuttered its Facebook and Instagram accounts last week as it said it would investigate. In a statement emailed to Heavy, Monday Sept. 30, Head of School Stephen Danish said, “We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Amari Allen Cried Recounting the Assault & Said She’s Been Bullied For Weeks
In an interview with a local news station, the 12-year-old wept as she described the assault and the said, “Sometimes I think I don’t deserve to be there …at a Christian school and everything and that I’m ugly …”
Allen said the three white boys have relentlessly bullied her, taken her lunch, called her names and hen, the attack on the playground.
“They were all around me and then one of them put (his) hand behind my back, one of the them covered my mouth” and the third, used scissors to “cut out big chunks” of her hair.
The family asked for prayers and justice.
“Please pray for the Allen Family… We all need strength for my niece Amari Allen. She has been bullied at Immanuel Christian school in Springfield, VA. Three White boys decided to hold her down and cut her hair stating it is UGLY and NAPPY.. Please SHARE We calling for JUSTICE?”
2. Allen’s Aunt Zyonn Allen Posted a Recording With a School Official Who Said Adults Were Present. A Police Investigation Found That Allen Made up the Story
Allen’s aunt played a video of a phone call from the school where she’s asked to “do the Godly thing and keep it off social media.”
Allen wrote that, “All three white boys were still in school today, none were suspended/expelled or even approached.”
On the recording a woman can be heard saying the school is “doing everything we can to handle it the right way that honors his family …”
When asked if there were adults on the playground the woman says, “Yes, there were adults out there and I’m sure …I mean we don’t tolerate that kind of thing.”
“…I don’t want to say too much but we’re working on getting to the bottom of it,” the school official is heard saying.
But a week later, schoolmaster Danish sa
id “We’re grateful to the Fairfax County Police Department for their diligent work to investigate these allegations.”
He added that, “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.”
3. Immanuel Christian School Shuttered All Its Social Media Accounts Last Week While it Investigated. Now, the School Says It’s ‘Not Immune From the Effects of Deep Racial Wounds in Our Society’
The Daily Beast reported, that Cynthia Allen said she met with school officials Thursday “to demand the three boys be removed and updated policies be put into place to ensure ‘this doesn’t happen again.’ Allen also said Amari filed a police report.”
The school sent a statement to the Daily Beast which in part read, “We take seriously the emotional and physical well-being of all our students, and have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of bullying or abuse.”
The school said it “reached out to law enforcement to ask them to conduct a thorough investigation, and further inquiries should be directed to the Fairfax County Police Department.”
After it was learned that Allen made the story up, Danish said, “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.”
4. The School’s Policy Prohibits LGTB ‘Behavior’ But the Head of School Says, it ‘Demonstrates God’s Love …Equally to all People Regardless of Their Background, What They Believe, or How They Behave’
As was first reported by the Huffington Post, Karen Pence began a part-time job teaching art at Immanuel Christian School in January. The school prohibits “sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices,” and says a “healthy marriage (is) between one man and one woman.”
In its “parent agreement,” the school states that can refuse admission or expel a student if “the atmosphere or conduct within a particular home, the activities of a parent or guardian, or the activities of the student are counter to, or are in opposition to, the biblical lifestyle the school teaches. This includes, but is not limited to contumacious behavior, divisive conduct, and participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity, promoting such practices, or being unable to support the moral principles of the school. (Lev. 20:13 and Romans 1:27.) I acknowledge the importance of a family culture based on biblical principles and embrace biblical family values such as a healthy marriage between one man and one woman. My role as spiritual mentor to my children will be taken seriously.”
Following this incident, Danish now says that, “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.”
5. The Allen Family Issued a Statement of Apology
Amari’s family issued a statement after she admitted to making up the accusations.
“To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused. 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,” the family said. “To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust.
The statement added, “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.”