A 10-year-old Muslim schoolgirl found two alarming handwritten notes in her cubby at a Boston-area grammar school, and police are looking into the incident as a hate crime.
The student found the first handwritten note on Friday, which read, “You’re a terrorist.” The second note, which was discovered on Tuesday, said, “I will kill you,” according to CNN.
Framingham School District Superintendent Robert Tremblay said at a news conference on Wednesday that the girl and her classmates weren’t in impending danger, adding that “safety is our priority.” The school district is launching its own internal investigation, said Tremblay.
The unidentified fifth grader—whose parents have chosen not to release her name—gave the first note to her teacher, but the school chose not to contact law enforcement, hoping that the culprit would confess, Principal Elizabeth Simon told CNN.
“All she said is she wants to be as normal as possible. She doesn’t want to be treated differently,” Jamaal Siddiqui, the girl’s uncle, said.
A 10-year-old Muslim girl found two threatening handwritten notes in her cubby in an elementary school west of Boston, and police are investigating the notes as a hate crime https://t.co/CQFQjwA14G
— CNN (@CNN) November 15, 2018
He said that the family has been a part of the community for decades and attended Framingham schools.
“I’ve been through racism. My wife has been through racism. As adults, we know how to cope with it,” Siddiqui continued. “But for our niece, she doesn’t know why she’s being targeted.”
Simon said her “staff is devastated” over the first bigoted incident at the school, adding, “We have not had something that was such a targeted, hateful message.”
Tremblay said that hateful note lends itself to a broader discussion around hateful messages.
“This is a pervasive problem [that] we need to take a stand on and address,” said Tremblay. “That kind of hate, you know, where does that come from? It’s not an innate feeling that a child would have. And the concern that we have is, how is this a teachable opportunity for our classrooms?”
According to CNN, the child’s classmates wrote nice letters to her, and the school will be discussing what happened to different classes.