Girl says classmates held her down, cut dreadlocks


VIRGINIA (CNN) — A grade schooler in Virginia says three classmates pinned her down and cut several of her dreadlocks.

12-year-old, 6th grader, Amari Allen is healing after she says three white male classmates at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia targeted and attacked her because of her hair.

“I was about to go down the slides when 3 boys came up to me surrounded me and they put me on the ground one of them put my hands behind my back one of them put their hands over my mouth and one cut my hair,” said Allen.

The alleged attack on school grounds was both physical and verbal.

“They were saying my hair was ugly it was nappy they were saying I don’t deserve to live I shouldn’t have been born,” said Allen.

Her grandmother. Cynthia Allen, says she was targeted for being different.

“The back of it was in the middle of her back and they cut all of these,” said C. Allen. “They attacked her as whom God created her to be as a young lady of color.”

A. Allen says it was the school bell that saved her when it rang.

“They ran off laughing. I just got myself up and went back to class,” said A. Allen.

“It started the first day of school when they start taking her lunch and eating her lunch in front of her, telling her nasty words, you’re not fit to live you’re ugly, your hair is nappy, you don’t belong here,” said C. Allen.

The school told CNN in a statement “we take seriously the emotional and physical well-being of all our students and have a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of bullying or abuse.”

The student body there is 52% white, and 11% African American.

Immanuel Christian made news earlier this year because Second Lady Karen Pence teaches art part-time there, despite a school policy that bans gay students and parents.

Pence’s office defended her decision to work there.

The Allen Family filed a police report and the Fairfax County Police tell CNN they are now investigating.

In the meantime Allen’s family says they are reminding her daily that she is enough, trying to reverse the negative impact of the painful words from her classmates.

“We used to say sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me, words will kill,” said C. Allen. “There’s a lot of people today who have committed suicide over one word so words have deep scarring.”


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