Two seniors at a premiere Washington, D.C. school have been expelled for using a Muslim classmate’s email account to send a fake bomb threat. 

The Washington Post reports that the Washington Latin Public Charter School students opened a laptop during class and noticed that a Muslim student had not logged out of his school email account. The message they sent on January 13 had the subject line “Bomb” and simply read, “Friday there will be big boom.” The email was sent to students in grade eight and higher, as well as two alumni classes. 

School head Martha Cutts told the Post: ”I was never really worried that it was a real threat, but you have to obviously take those things very seriously.” School administrators were quickly able to trace the laptop and location from which the email was sent. The two high school seniors responsible were expelled. Cutts said that the Muslim student targeted for harassment is doing well and receiving support from fellow students. 

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Post that in light of rising Islamophobia in the United States, the incident should be considered a hate crime. He explained that if the perpetrators had not been “hearing and seeing this kind of anti-Muslim sentiment in their daily lives, they wouldn’t have even thought to use a Muslim student’s email account to send a bomb threat.”

(H/t The Washington Post