Amari Allen alleged three white classmates at Springfield’s Immanuel Christian School had pinned her against a playground slide, holding her hands behind her back and covering her mouth. She then said they cut her dreadlocks, while describing them as ‘ugly’ and ‘nappy’.
As reported by CNN, Amari’s aunt Lakeisha Allen has been left ‘devastated’ by these revelations.
Lakeisha has explained Amari did indeed have a verbal dispute with the three boys but had ’embellished the story’.
The Allen family have since made an apology in a statement released on Monday, September 30:
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.
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. […]
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.
In a statement made to Yahoo Lifestyle, Immanuel Christian School Headteacher Stephen Danish said:
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.
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.
The Fairfax County NAACP chapter have also released a statement, urging people to respect the privacy of Amari’s family:
Amari is not a public figure, She is a young girl who made a mistake, and we are asking everyone, supporters and critics alike, to please respect the family’s privacy at this time.
In their statement, the Fairfax County NAACP chapter emphasised how this incident should not be used to dismiss other racially motivated crimes:
Too often in these rare instances of fabricated hate crimes, critics use a broad brush to claim racially motivated crimes are virtually non-existent.
This is demonstrably wrong. Data from numerous sources, including the Anti-Defamation League, the FBI and the Justice Department, shows bias-motivated crimes are on the rise, year over year.
The fact is that these type of fabrications are isolated incidents, but the public and media has a tendency to sensationalize falsifications over the thousands of real hate crimes reported every year.
A 2019 report from the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism found hate crimes had risen by nine per cent in 30 major US cities in 2018.