The thought of suicide should never be on the mind of a 10-year-old, but sadly fifth grader Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor of Utah ended her own life after being teased for being Black and having a disability.
To make matters worse, the mostly-white Davis School District that reportedly forced the bright young soul to want to leave Earth prematurely has a sordid history of racism that dates back many years.
As reported extensively by The Salt Lake Tribune, Izzy’s death has led her family to demand answers from a school district that continuously ignored race-based bullying. Brittany Tichenor-Cox, the late 10-year-old’s mom, expressed her frustration through tears during a recent news conference, stating, “Even though my baby is gone, I’m going to make sure I stand for Izzy,” continuing by adding, “I will never get to see her again … I will never … She was 10 years old. She was only 10.”
Here’s more details on this heartbreaking story below, via The Salt Like Tribune:
“Izzy’s death comes about two weeks after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report from a lengthy investigation into Davis School District’s serious mishandling of reports of racism there.
Investigators found that district administrators intentionally ignored ‘serious and widespread’ racial harassment in its schools for years — failing to respond to hundreds of reports from Black students after they have been called slaves, the N-word, and heard threats that they would be lynched.
A few kids of color said they felt the predominantly white school district in northern Utah was condoning the way they were treated by taking no action, even when teachers directly witnessed discrimination. Some employees, they added, participated in it.
Tichenor-Cox said she believes her daughter’s case that started this fall was handled with callousness and disregard — even after those findings became public and the district promised change.
Davis School District issued a statement Monday saying it was working ‘extensively with the family’ to resolve the case and ‘will continue to provide help to them and others impacted by this tragedy.’”
While the district’s statement may sound fine and dandy on paper, community leaders close to the case say that it’s a misleading message because they’ve simply refused to respond to any reports of racism so far. In addition to bullying from students, Tichenor-Cox says Izzy even felt neglect from her own teacher, saying she didn’t feel the instructor “liked her” and telling her mom, “She doesn’t say ‘hi’ to me. She says ‘hi’ to all the other kids.” Tichenor-Cox didn’t even get an answer from the school when she called to inquire.
Read the full report by clicking here, which gives a more in-depth account of what poor Izzy had to endure — it sadly gets worse — and what the community is doing to stop this from ever happening again. We’ll continue to keep her family and loved ones in our prayers.
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