A 12-year-old African-American girl who claimed three white classmates pinned her down and cut her dreadlocks has admitted the claims were fabricated, her school said.
“We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false,” Stephen Danish, head of Immanuel Christian School, said in a statement Monday.
Last week, the girl, Amari Allen, told CNN that three white boys at the school in Springfield, Virginia, pinned her to a playground slide.
She claimed the boys held her hands behind her back, covered her mouth and clipped her hair, calling it “ugly” and “nappy.”
Amari’s aunt Lakeisha Allen said the family is “devastated.”
“We are so embarrassed, and we are so sorry,” Allen told CNN.
She said her niece did have a verbal dispute with the boys but “embellished the story.”
The Allen family also issued an apology in a statement released Monday.
“To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused,” the Allen family said.
“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,” the girl’s family said.
“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.”
CNN’s Rene Marsh contributed to this report.