12-Year-Old Cited for Alleged Hate Crime Against Peer in Modesto

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MODESTO --

She’s only 12-years-old and already NuPhaeya Hassen is the victim of a hate crime.

“I didn’t think my granddaughter would have to deal with this,” Rita Tillery, Hassen’s Grandmother told FOX40 on Thursday.

Last Monday morning at La Loma Junior High School, her 8th-grade granddaughter was confronted by a 12-year-old boy, Tillery claimed. She said her granddaughter was just waiting for the school bus here when the 12-year-old boy approached with a pair of sticks his hands in the shape of a cross.

“He came at her talked about KKK, Ku Klux Klan, he said his family was racist, skinheads,” she said.

Tillery said her granddaughter was scared and tried to defend herself.

“Just she was slapping them, actually, at the sticks, and she ended up slapping him,” she said.

She said the student threw rocks at Hassen and then after school the boy’s older sister attacked her.

“This incident caused another confrontation after school … that’s when she was jumped! That was the confrontation they’re talking about,” Tillery said as she read off the suspension notice her granddaughter received.

La Loma Junior High School took action but it wasn’t what Tillery had expected. Her granddaughter got sent home and was suspended from school. Tillery now wants Modesto City Schools to provide her with a written notice of rescinding the suspension.

“She didn’t threaten anybody,” Tillery said.

The NAACP of Stanislaus County is looking into the matter as well as the Modesto Police Department who have cited the student for a hate crime and battery. His sister has been cited for battery, as well.

“(I felt) very angry. very angry,” Tillery said.

But all the family wants is a sense of justice but more than that she just wants a sense of peace.

“(Hassen is) just kind of, kind of scared, because she doesn’t know, you know, the retaliation ... if there’s going to be retaliation," Tillery said.

Because of the ages of all involved, Modesto City Schools could not disclose what kind of disciplinary action the boy and his sister received. But they did say that discipline was in accordance to their student conduct code.