Police in Fairfax County, Va., are investigating after a black sixth grader said several white male classmates pinned her down at their school and cut some of her dreadlocks.
Amari Allen, 12, told police that three white boys at the Immanuel Christian School in Springfield on Monday pinned her down, covered her mouth and called her “ugly” and “nappy” while they cut several of her dreadlocks with scissors, CNN reported.
The incident allegedly took place during recess, according to The Washington Post.
"They were saying that I don't deserve to live, that I shouldn't have been born," she told CNN. And when the bell rang to signal recess was over, she said "they ran off laughing ... I just got myself up.”
The girl’s aunt, Lakeisha Allen, said she noticed on Wednesday that her niece’s hair was damaged, but the girl initially wouldn’t say how it happened, the Post reported.
She later told her aunt about the alleged incident and said the boys were bullying her and had been taking her lunch for weeks, the newspaper reported.
The girl said she didn’t say anything to her teachers out of fear of retaliation from the boys.
The girl’s aunt as well as her grandmother — Amari’s legal guardian — notified police on Wednesday about the incident. A police investigation is underway, and school administrators are also looking into what took place.
Immanuel Christian Head of School Stephen Danish told CNN in a statement that school administrators were "deeply disturbed by the allegations being made.”
"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, adding that the school "also reached out to law enforcement to ask them to conduct a thorough investigation."
Everyone involved in the incident will not be in school while police conduct their investigation, CNN reported.
"I didn't know that these things still exist," her grandmother, Cynthia Allen, told CNN. "We are in 2019 and these are things that I've either read about or heard about in my grandparents' or my mother's generations. It's painful.”