Muslim Students in Garden Grove Respond to Hate Mail

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In their pressed uniforms, the students squirmed as their principal addressed the letter that landed in the mailbox of Orange Crescent School one late November day.

Students at Orange Crescent School assemble to present a response to hate mail sent to area mosques by an anonymous individual. (Credit: David McNew / Los Angeles Times)

Students at Orange Crescent School assemble to present a response to hate mail sent to area mosques by an anonymous individual. (Credit: David McNew / Los Angeles Times)

“Dear children of Satan,” it read, speaking to Muslim boys and girls whose campus is located on the grounds of the Islamic Society of Orange County in Garden Grove. Rather than deal with it privately, school officials decided to share the letter with the students, presenting the kids on Thursday, Principal Maisa Youssef said, to let people “see what an American Muslim child looks like.”

“There’s nothing different about our school,” she added. “We’re like every other school in America.”

Leila Dakelbab, vice principal of the school that serves children from preschool to eighth grade, called members of the student government to join her at the podium.

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