A 10 year old beautiful Black girl named Isabella "Izzy" Tichenor died by suicide last Saturday after allegedly being bullied by classmates. Izzy's death could have been avoided, according to her family, had her school not ignored their complaints, the family's lawyer told MTO News.
"Izzy was a happy child. She was a happy little girl, she did well in school ... All she wanted was to be connected with family and friends," attorney Tyler Ayres told MTO News immediately before ether family's private funeral on Saturday morning.
The tragedy comes just weeks after the Justice Department publicly detailed a disturbing pattern where Black and Asian American students at the Davis School District in Farmington, Utah, were racially harassed for years, And officials deliberately ignored complaints from parents and students. The DOJ detailed the pattern in a report and settlement agreement released in October. The agency had been investigating the school district since July 2019.
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Izzy's mother and stepfather, Brittany Clark Tichenor Cox and Charles Cox, said they became aware their daughter was being bullied around September.
"They found her taking a bottle of Febreze to school, and when they asked her why they said she said because the kids said she stank," Ayres told CNN, adding her teacher instructed her to sit away from other students in the back of the classroom.
Izzy's family lawyer said the kids allegedly used the n-word and teased Izzy repeatedly.
According to Ayres, Brittany and Charles sought out Izzy's teacher to lodge their complaints, but "when they realized that they weren't making any progress ... they went to the principal. The principal turned them to the vice principal and with the vice principal they felt very unheard and just very disregarded."