A private school in Virginia said Monday that a 12-year-old student who accused three boys of holding her down in the playground and cutting her hair made the story up. The principal of Immanuel Christian School—where Vice President Mike Pence's wife, Karen, teaches—said the school is relieved to learn the truth, the New York Times reports, but added: "We also feel tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict." The girl, who is black, had reported that three white boys cut off her dreadlocks last week after pinning her down and covering her mouth. "They were saying that my hair was ugly, that it was nappy," the girl had said. Police had begun an investigation of the accusation.
The girl and her family met with administrators Monday, when the girl recanted the story, before the school made its announcement, per the Washington Post. The sixth grader's grandparents issued a statement after the meeting; they're her legal guardians. They apologized to the three boys and their families for the pain caused them and to Immanuel Christian for the "undue scorn" the false accusations brought. "To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust," they wrote. The local chapter of the NAACP warned against disbelieving future allegations of racial violence because of "these rare instances of fabricated hate crimes." (Read more Virginia stories.)