The family of a 10-year-old girl says that she took her own life after being bullied at school, and claims the school staff failed the little girl.
According to KUTV, Isabella “Izzy” Faith Tichenor’s family said she died of an apparent suicide on Sunday after relentless bullying at at Foxboro Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“She was a happy little girl,” Izzy’s mother Brittany Tichenor said during a news conference Monday, noting that Izzy was autistic and dyslexic and was the target of bullies at school. “She told me, ‘Mommy, I want to be more than this.’ I think I understand what she meant by ‘more than this.’ More than her disability,” Tichenor told Fox 13.
Izzy’s family claims they tried to address the bullying with school administrators, but the Davis School District did not do enough.
“As any parent would, we reported this abuse to her teachers, the school administration, and the district administration,” said mother Brittany Tichenor said, according to KUTV. “Nothing. Nothing was done to protect Izzy. Children did not have their behavior corrected so the torment of this child continued day after day.”
According to The Standard-Examiner, Izzy’s mother claimed one of the girl’s teachers contributed to the bullying at one point, allegedly joining classmates in mocking the 10-year-old. Tichenor also reportedly said her 7-year-old daughter has been called the “n-word” at school by racist bullies.
The circumstances of Izzy’s apparent suicide are not known. Her mother said that Izzy was proud of who she was and stayed strong for as long as she could.
“She was proud of being Isabella,” Tichenor said, according to KSL. “She was happy with Isabella.”
The Davis School District issued a statement in response to the tragedy, obtained by KSL.
“We, like everyone, are devastated by the death of this child. Our hearts go out to the family,” the statement read.
“Foxboro Elementary has worked extensively with the family and will continue to provide help to them and others impacted by this tragedy. We take all incidents and reports of bullying seriously. At this point, the incident we are aware of involved another student. The teacher and administration responded quickly and appropriately. As with all allegations of bullying, our investigation will continue.”
Through her grief, Tichenor is determined to ensure that another child does not suffer the way Izzy did.
“Even though my baby is gone, I’m going to make sure that I stand for Izzy and for voices that can’t be heard, so that this will never happen again,” the mother said.
A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign is raising money for Izzzy’s upcoming celebration of life.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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