A Muslim elementary school student in Massachusetts last Friday reportedly received a handwritten note that read, "You're a terrorist," in her storage area inside her classroom.
The 10-year-old girl attends Hemenway Elementary School in Framingham, which is about 22 miles west of Boston, according to the Boston Globe. Another note that read, "I will kill you," was left for the fifth-grade student on Monday, the report said.
"It’s pretty disgusting," Jamaal Siddiqui, the girl's uncle, told Boston 25 News. "Threatening a child for no apparent reason.”
He told Boston's WCVB-TV the effect that the letters have had on his niece.
"She's in her quiet state right now, which is more alarming for us. Because she's not like that. She's upbeat. She's always outside playing in the cold and stuff. And she's refraining from doing that because she's scared," Siddiqui said.
“This is a community problem,” Tremblay said. “This is not a Framingham problem, this is not a Hemenway problem. This is a pervasive problem around hate that we have to take a stand on and address, and we’re here just to do that today.”
School Principal Elizabeth Simon said it's "very upsetting" to her and her community, according to the paper.
“Some of the students didn’t know what a terrorist was, so we had to explain that,” Simon said. “I did explain to them, this is unacceptable. It would be upsetting for any of us to receive that note, but the fact is [the student] is Muslim, and sending that note to a Muslim student becomes a hate crime.”
Police are investigating the incidents, but officials don't believe there's a threat to students, Tremblay told The Globe. Siddiqui also said the family was told the detective investigating is going through each student’s backpack, Boston 25 News reported.
"It’s sad to see kids at this age are dwelling in racism when they don't really know what it is or how it affects the other kids around them," Siddiqui told WCVB-TV.
The school district also released a statement on Tuesday.
"This type of incident has no place in Framingham Schools or the Hemenway community and will not be tolerated. It is of the utmost importance that Framingham students are, and feel safe and respected at school," the statement said.
Students were asked to write the victim a note of support, Simon said.
“She’s actually a wonderful student and well liked by everyone,” Simon said. “And she, with the support of her family and teachers, is here and participating, but I’m sure it’s very hard. It has to be.”