The story was everywhere.

A black 12-year-old girl who attended a Christian school dropped a bombshell of an accusation recently, when she told administrators that three white male classmates held her down during recess and cut off her dreadlocks. 

To make the story go even more viral, this happened to be the same school at which Karen Pence teaches on a part time basis.  Headlines on social media were of the “all caps” variety:

SIXTH GRADERS HOLD DOWN CLASSMATE, CUT HER DREADLOCKS AT PRIVATE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL WHERE KAREN PENCE TEACHES

If you are wondering, that was Newsweek’s.  NBC News’s headline was not in all caps, but it was just as alarming:

3 boys at Christian school where Karen Pence teaches allegedly cut black girl’s dreadlocks

A police investigation was initiated and the girl and her family did the media circuit, including TV and newspapers.  

In an interview with The New York Times, the girl, described the playground attackers as being racially motivated: “They were saying that my hair was ugly, that it was nappy.”

As you can imagine, her story went far and wide.

But as the police looked into the horrific allegations, the story fell apart. This week, the girl admitted it was a lie.  Now the New York Times reports the more accurate story: the Christian boys were the victims of this terrible lie.

“While we are relieved to hear the truth and bring the events of the past few days to a close, we also feel tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict,” the school’s principal, Stephen Danish, said in a statement. 

He continued: “We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing. This ordeal has revealed that we as a school family are not immune from the effects of deep racial wounds in our society.”

Mr. Danish also thanked the Fairfax County Police Department for its “diligent work” investigating the complaint. 

Also, the girl’s family released a statement:

 “To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused,” the family said. “To the administrators and families of Immanuel Christian School, we are sorry for the damage this incident has done to trust within the school family and the undue scorn it has brought to the school. To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust.”

That’s a great apology for a terrible situation.  

But shouldn’t our news agencies have more wisdom than putting a microphone in front of the mouth of a troubled little girl based on her sole testimony?  I guess it was just too hard to pass up a story that might embarrass the Vice President.

What will these news agencies do to correct this story?  What can they do?  And will any of the people who shared the original story share the correction?

What a shame our nation has come to this.

Image Credit: Pixnio

Hat Tip: New York Times

About The Author

Mark Meckler

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at MarkMeckler.com, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.