SPRINGFIELD, Va. — A northern Virginia girl has recanted her accusation that three classmates grabbed her and cut her dreadlocks on the playground of a northern Virginia private school.
The Washington Post reports that the girl’s family issued an apology Monday to the boys, the school and the community.
Last week the 12-year-old girl told multiple media outlets that three of her sixth-grade classmates at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield called her hair “ugly” while they assaulted her at recess. The girl is African American and said her attackers were white. The story received national attention.
Stephen Danish, Head of School, Immanuel Christian School, released the following statement Monday afternoon:
“We can now confirm that the student who accused three of her classmates of assault has acknowledged that the allegations were false. 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.
“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.
“Below is the statement the Allen family has authorized us to release on their behalf:
“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.”