The parents of a 10-year-old Colorado girl believe that their daughter was a victim of “bullycide,” a term used to describe situations where a suicide is caused by bullying, after the little girl took her own life after video of herself fighting with her alleged bully was posted online and subjected her to more harassment.
“She got into her first-ever fight. It was recorded by a student and sent to an app called Musical.ly,” Anthony Davis, the father of Ashawnty Davis, a fifth-grader at Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora, Colo., told KDVR-TV.
Ashawnty’s parents described her as a bright and vibrant little girl who wanted to be a WNBA star. However, toward the end of October, that happy girl disappeared.
In the video of the fight, Ashawnty, who is wearing pink, can be seen fighting with another girl while a group of children watch. Ashawnty’s mother, Latoshia Harris, said that her daughter had confronted the girl who had allegedly been bullying her.
“I saw my daughter was scared,” Harris told the news station. “She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to Musical.ly.”
Ashawnty’s parents said that the bullying that occurred after the video started circulating became too much.
“My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet,” Harris said.
Ashawnty remained at the Children’s Hospital Colorado on life support for two weeks before she passed away Wednesday morning, and now her parents are hoping to become a voice in the fight to prevent “bullycide.”
“We have to stop it and we have to stop it within our kids,” Davis said.
“I want other parents to know that it’s happening,” Harris added. “That was my baby and I love my baby and I just want mothers to listen.”
Cherry Creek School District issued a statement about the case involving Ashawnty, saying, as is to be expected, that bullying “of any kind” is not tolerated and that the fight did not take place during school hours:
This is a heartbreaking loss for the school community. Mental health supports will be made available for any students who need help processing the loss.
We do not tolerate bullying of any kind in our schools and we have a comprehensive bullying prevention program in place at all of our schools. The safety and wellbeing of students is our highest priority and we strive every today to ensure schools are safe, welcoming and supportive places that support learning.
We were made aware of that video when a media outlet approached us with it. We took immediate action in response, turning the video over to police and addressing the matter with students.
It should also be noted that the video did not take place during school hours.
Read more at KDVR-TV.