Audio of this story
A 12-year-old African-American girl has accused three white classmates of pinning her down and cutting off her dreadlocks with scissors.
Amari Allen says the assault happened during break time at her private school in Springfield, Virginia, on Monday.
She alleges that the boys held her down on a slide and called her hair “ugly” and “nappy” and cut some off.
The alleged attack took place at the Immanuel Christian School, where the US Vice-President’s wife teaches.
The school and local police both confirmed they were investigating the incident.
“The boys came up to me and they ambushed me sort of, like caged me in,” Ms Allen told local media.
“And so they put their hands over my mouth. They put my hands behind my back and they started cutting my hair and told me that I was ugly.”
“They like took my lunch and ate it in front of me and told me I didn’t deserve it, that I could just starve and stuff like that,” Ms Allen added.
The family say the incident only came to light on Wednesday when her grandmother noticed her hair was suddenly different lengths.
“It’s very painful,” Cynthia Allen told a local CBS affiliate. “I want to see them dismissed from the school. I want to see something done.”
In a statement, the school said they had asked local police 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 Christian School 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.”
The school, which costs Ms Allen’s family almost $12,000 (£9,800) a year, is where Karen Pence – the wife of Vice-President Mike Pence – teaches art part-time.
She resumed working at the school earlier this year, amid scrutiny over its anti-LGBT requirements of staff.