A Tennessee family was shocked after reportedly receiving a racially-charged letter from their 10-year-old daughter’s friend just before her birthday sleepover.

The girl’s father Christopher Jones told MyFoxMemphis.com they received a handwritten note about why one of his daughter’s friends could not come to the party. Both Jones and his daughter were stunned.

“It was a picture of a letter, handwritten letter from a child,” Jones told MyFoxMemphis.com. “Said something along the lines of, you know I can't come to your party cause my father won't let me cause I'm black.

“You would think in the 21st Century people would be judged strictly on their character or their personality, not on the color of their skin.”

Highland Oaks Middle School, where both students attend, has a reputation for encouraging the sense of family among teachers, students and parents. Jones said multi-racial schools had been a good experience for her daughter, including one with the 10-year-old white girl.

“These are the obstacles that we're going to have,”Cardell Orrin, the Memphis director for the non-profit education advocacy group Stand For Children told the site. “These are the obstacles that education, if not helps you to completely move past, helps to break down one of the barriers that are put in our way.”

Jones said his daughter’s excitement eventually outweighed the pain of her initial disappointment.

Jones told MyFoxMemphis.com he would like to have a talk with the girl’s father to “iron out our differences.”

Click for more from MyFoxMemphis.com