Izzy

Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor

Ten-year-old Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor had autism and was the only Black student in her class. Her mother said Izzy was bullied – told she smelled and was harassed about her skin color, eyebrows and a beauty mark on her forehead. Now the Utah child is dead after taking her own life.

Brittany Tichenor-Cox said she told Izzy’s teacher, the school and the district about the bullying, but that nothing was done.

“When I was crying out for help for somebody to do something, nobody even showed up for her,” Tichenor-Cox said this week in an interview with The Associated Press. “It just hurts to know that my baby was bullied all day throughout school – from the time I dropped her off to the time I picked her up.”

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Izzy’s death occurred a month after the U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report on Davis’ serious mishandling of reports of racism.

In October, after a two-year investigation, the DOJ 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 had been called slaves and the N-word.

Davis, a predominantly white district, said it is making the changes recommended by the DOJ.

Meanwhile, Davis School District is refusing to release the names of the people it has hired to investigate its handling of multiple reports that Tichenor was being bullied before she died by suicide.

The plan to create the review team was announced shortly after Izzy’s death in November, as community members demanded a response from the district to the tragedy that some saw as preventable.

The Salt Lake Tribune has filed a public records request for the names.

Rae Duckworth, the leader of the Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter, said the names of the team members have been shared confidentially with Tichenor-Cox and her lawyer. Duckworth noted only that none of the experts appear to be from Utah.

A published report notes that only that one person on the team is an expert in interviewing children about trauma, one is an expert in educational practices and one is a legal expert.

Izzy's shocking death triggered an outpouring of anger about youth suicides, racism in the classroom and the treatment of children with autism.

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