The family of an 11-year-old Toronto girl have offered their “sincere apologies” after their daughter falsely claimed that a man cut her hijab off with scissors.
The girl reported a fortnight ago that a man attempted to cut off her hijab twice as she walked to school with her younger brother.
Her story captured national attention and drew public condemnation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Toronto Mayor John Tory.
Toronto police began investigating the alleged incident as a hate crime before declaring that the incident never occurred last Monday.
“After a detailed investigation, police have determined that the events described in the original news release did not happen,” police said.
The family offered their “sincere apologies to every Canadian” in a statement made last Wednesday.
“This has been a very painful experience for our family,” said the family.
They added: “We want to thank everyone who has shown us support at this difficult time. Again, we are deeply sorry for this and want to express our sincere apologies to every Canadian.”
The family says the experience has been “very painful” and that they look forward to “closing this difficult chapter”.
The family expressed gratitude toward Pauline Johnson Junior Public School which, they said, “reacted with compassion and support.”