A horrible incident involving a sixth-grader at a Northern Virginia Christian school has sparked outrage across the country. Three sixth-grade boys allegedly pinned down a black classmate and cut off some of her dreadlocks while telling her that her hair was “nappy” and “ugly”.
Twelve-year-old Amari Allen said the three boys who cut her hair off on Monday were white. She is a student at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield, Virginia.
Amari’s grandmother, Cynthia Allen, was visibly upset as she spoke about the incident. “It was like she just died. That’s how painful it was for me,” she told local affiliate NBC 4.
Amari’s grandfather shared his wife’s sentiment. “My heart just broke,” he said. “I was just paralyzed. I couldn’t get myself together.”
Administrators at the school were alerted of the event and found the allegations to be “deeply disturbing” according to the Head of School Stephen Danish.
“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,” he said in a statement. He asked the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
Amari said the boys began to bully hair at the beginning of the school year. A straight-A student and violin player, she has attended Immanuel Christian since kindergarten. On Monday she was at recess about to go down a slide when one of the boys allegedly grabbed her and put a hand over her mouth. Another boy grabbed her arms while a third boy cut off some of her hair before the trio ran off, laughing.
“They put their hands over my mouth. They put my hands behind my back. And they started cutting my hair and saying it was ugly,” Amari said. She told no one and her grandmother noticed portions of her granddaughter’s hair missing on Wednesday. Amari broke down and told her grandmother the entire story.
She won’t be attending Immanuel until the boys are punished.
“Some consequences should be implemented so that the school will send a strong message: We will not tolerate this, under any circumstances. No matter who you are.” Cynthia Allen said.