Racist note hidden in tampon applicator prompts outrage at New York City school

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- An alleged racist incident involving a female African American student prompted emergency meetings with families, students and administrators at a prestigious Manhattan high school Tuesday.

It happened on March 15 at Eleanor Roosevelt High School on the Upper East Side, where senior Saniya Darby said she saw two classmates give a ninth-grader a note that read "n----- don't have rights," hidden in a tampon applicator.

"It was blatant racism, pure straight racism," she said. "I told the principal all of this."

She said she notified the principal when the victim was too intimidated to do so. The note was reportedly thrown in the garbage to get rid of the evidence.

Since the incident, meetings with students and parents have taken place to improve race relations at the predominantly white school.

The Department of Education says it's investigating the incident.

"Racism and bullying have no place in our schools, and the school investigated this serious incident," the DOE said in a statement. "Principal Saliani sent a school-wide letter and met with families to reaffirm the importance of a safe and supportive school environment, and we are continuing to provide support to the school community."

The two students who wrote the note haven't returned to school, according to students, and it's unclear whether they will.

"These are people we trusted," freshman Stefanie Mitchell said. "And to see them do this to her, it's really bad."

At the very least, it's opening up a dialogue at the school. But for others, that's long overdue.

"Ignorance is very big at this school," Darby said. "I feel like this latest incident was very clear. It was blatant racism."

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