An investigation is currently underway after a 12-year-old Black girl, Amari Allen, who says that three white sixth-grade classmates held her down, covered her mouth, insulted her and cut several of her dreadlocks with scissors at Immanuel Christian School on Monday.
It is the same school where Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen Pence, works. It’s located in Springfield, Va. The private school has 469 students only 11% of them are Black. Just under half the pupils are students of color.
“I was about to go down the slide, and the three boys came up and surrounded me,” Amari Allen said in an interview Thursday afternoon, The Washington Post reported. “They were saying my hair was nappy and I was ugly and I shouldn’t have been born.”
BULLIED OVER HAIR CONT.—The sixth-grader’s aunt showed me where the alleged attack happened on the playground. It’s now surrounded by caution tape. (See previous post). #DevelopingStory @wusa9 #FairfaxVA pic.twitter.com/n6YM8NsM9K
— Mikea Turner (@MikeaTurnerTV) September 26, 2019
The assault lasted several minutes on the playground during recess, according to The Daily Beast.
“They ran off laughing, and I was just sitting there,” she told The Daily Beast. “I’m hurt that it happened. All I want to ask them is, Why?”
The bullying at the school has been going on for weeks, according to Amari. The boys had been verbally bullying her and taking her lunch. But she didn’t want to tell anyone because she was afraid the three boys would retaliate against her for reporting the abuse.
The school has asked the Fairfax County Police Department to investigate but so far there are no punishments for the boys and there is no timeline for the conclusion of the investigation.
“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,” Stephen Danish, Immanuel Christian’s head of school, wrote in a statement. “We are deeply disturbed by the allegations being made, and are in communication with the family of the alleged victim to gather information and provide whatever support we can.”
According to Amari’s mother, she won’t be going back to the school, The Daily Beast said. The Post reported that the boys won’t be returning to the school while the police are investigating.
Amari’s mother, Cynthia Allen, told The Daily Beast to demand the three boys be removed permanently from the school and that updated policies be put into place to make sure bullying doesn’t happen again.
“They called her ‘ugly,’ told her she was an ‘attention seeker,’ called her hair ‘nappy,’ all of these horrible things,” Allen said. “And when they ran away laughing, she just had to sit there and get herself together.”