Several white students at a Virginia elementary school have been accused of assault for allegedly pinning down an African-American classmate and cutting her dreadlocks.

The incident occurred Monday at Immanuel Christian School in Springfield. Amari Allen, 12, said three white classmates began harassing her during recess before pinning her down on a playground slide when no other students or staff were present.

She told Washington ABC-affiliate WJLA her assailants kept her hands behind her back, covered her mouth, and started cutting her dreadlocks. She said they referred to her hair as “ugly” and “nappy” as they cut it.

“I felt hurt, but also angry,” Allen said. “Why would they do this? Is it only me that's being affected?”

Allen waited until Wednesday to inform her parents for fear of further bullying.

“When I held it in, I felt like a weight was being added to my shoulders each day that I held it in,” Allen said. “Something could have happened that made them do this. I know that's like the source of most bullying.”

Allen’s parents filed a report with Fairfax Police, who has since begun investigating the alleged assault. A department spokesperson also confirmed officers are working with the school 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,” Immanuel Head of School Stephen Danish said 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.”

Classroom A classroom is pictured. Photo: Pixabay