PASADENA, MD. (WJZ) — Friday night, members of Anne Arundel County held a town hall to address what they say has been a spike in racism in their community.

Though the crowd may have been small, the discussion being held inside a Pasadena church was anything but.

“We are here to let our children know, that we would like them to be safe in the schools,” said Apostle Larry Lee Thomas, with United Black Clergy.

The town hall inside Mount Zion United Methodist Church brought parents, students and police together to discuss what they say is a trend of racism, particularly at area schools.

“We don’t want to be silent anymore. We can’t continue like this become the norm,” Apostle said.

Two of the most recent examples taking place at Chesapeake High School and Chesapeake Bay Middle School.

At the high school, a black student reportedly was sent an image with the words, “You n-word will rue the day,”

The next day, a noose made of toilet paper was found in the boy’s bathroom at the middle school.

“This was reported to school administrators who interviewed the students and quickly determined which student it was that had hung up the toilet tissues,” said Marc Limansky, AACO police spokesman.

Community leaders say it has been an ongoing problem at the schools beyond these two incidents.

School officials are also aware and are addressing it.

“This is an issue that is bigger than one school, two schools or one school system. This is a community issue, a societal issue,” said AACO Public Schools Spokesman Bob Mosier.

Students said Friday night they are disheartened. They said the actions of few do not reflect the community.

“We all just need to realize that we’re kind of all in this together and we need to like, unite and be there for each other,” said Amelia Reynolds, a Chesapeake High School student.

Among some of the suggestions presented, a citizens review panel to review reported racist incidents at school, and a public report on the number of reported cases.

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