A black sixth-grade student at a private Christian school in Virginia accused three white classmates of holding her down and forcibly cutting her dreadlocks off last week — but she admitted Monday that she made the whole story up, the Washington Post reported.
The student, a 12-year-old girl, attends Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia. She claimed in media reports that three white male students called her hair "ugly" and "nappy" and said she "shouldn't have been born" while covering her mouth and holding her arms behind her back as one of the students cut her hair with scissors.
The story gained national attention, including from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
On Monday, her grandparents (who are her legal guardians) issued a statement of apology for the fabricated hate crime:
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.
The school also issued a statement:
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.
Some media reports made a point to highlight that the alleged incident occurred at the school that Karen Pence, wife of Vice President Mike Pence, teaches at part-time. Pence has also been attacked for teaching at the school because, as a Christian school, it does not affirm LGBTQ lifestyles or identities and requires faculty and staff to abide by that policy.