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Report: 3 students ‘cut off’ girl’s dreadlocks in Virginia

A 12-year-old African American girl has claimed three classmates pinned her down and cut off her dreadlocks with scissors.

Amari Allen discusses the incident in a BBC video.
Screenshot, BBC News

A 12-year-old African American girl has claimed three classmates pinned her down and cut off her dreadlocks with scissors.

Amari Allen, a sixth grader at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia, told NBC that “she was about to go down a slide during recess at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield on Monday when one of the boys grabbed her and put his hand over her mouth. The second boy grabbed her arms, while the third cut off some of her dreadlocks.”

“They put my hands behind my back and they started cutting my hair and told me that I was ugly,” Allen said. “They were saying that I don’t deserve to live, that I shouldn’t have been born.”

The attack allegedly happened Monday, but Allen was too afraid to say anything until her grandmother noticed her missing hair on Wednesday, according to BBC.

“I didn’t know that these things still (existed),” Allen’s grandmother, Cynthia Allen, said. “We are in 2019 and these are things that I’ve either read about or heard about in my grandparents’ or my mothers’ generations. It’s painful.”

In a statement, Immanuel Christian School said it had asked local police to investigate the incident.

“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 school said. “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.”

The Fairfax Country Police Department is investigating the incident and a police report was filed, according to CNN. All parties involved in the incident will not be in school while the investigation is being conducted.