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Virginia student admits to lying about dreadlocks playground assault

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — The family of a 12-year-old girl who claimed classmates pinned her down and cut her dreadlocks at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia have apologized to their daughter’s classmates after the girl admitted her story was false.

“We sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused,” the family said in a statement released by the 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.”

Amari Allen’s story went viral last week after she accused three white classmates of assault. She claimed the boys pinned her on a playground slide, held her hands behind her back, covered her mouth, and clipped her hair, calling it “ugly” and “nappy.”

“They were saying that I don’t deserve to live, that I shouldn’t have been born,” she told CNN.

On Monday, the school confirmed the student’s story was not true.

“We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false,” a school spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”

The school said the incident proved they were “not immune from the effects of deep racial wounds” and would use it as an opportunity to learn and heal.

Allen’s family members said they knew it would take time to heal and hoped “the boys, their families, the school and the broader community” would forgive them in time.

Amari’s aunt Lakeisha Allen said the family is “devastated.”

“We are so embarrassed, and we are so sorry,” she told CNN.

She said her niece did have a verbal dispute with the boys but “embellished the story.”

The Fairfax County Police Department investigated the incident.

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