Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor, 10, was allegedly bullied at Foxboro Elementary school in Farmington, Utah for being autistic and Black, which resulted in her dying by suicide in November, according to a report by KSL News Radio based on an independent investigation commissioned by the Davis School District. The report, which was completed after the girl’s death, found Foxboro failed to address the bullying allegations in a timely manner.
The investigation found the Foxboro staff didn’t acknowledge the district’s definition of “bullying” and the school fostered an environment where bullying went “unreported and unaddressed.” The staff also took months to create an official record for Tichenor’s reports and only did after she attempted suicide.
Per CNN, Tichenor’s mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, reported the incidents beginning in September 2021.
More on the bullying allegations from KSL News Radio:
The team was simply told to look at allegations from Tichenor’s mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, surrounding race and/or disability. During the course of the investigation, the team did find that Tichenor-Cox complained to the district that her daughter was being bullied for her hygiene.
The investigative team did not delve into that, as it was “not authorized… to investigate Mrs. Tichenor-Cox’s allegations that Izzy may have been bullied on any ground that was not race or disability.”
The report says the team did not receive authorization to investigate complaints against specific people at the school.
Tichenor-Cox also asked for the school to give Izzy an observation and testing assessment in Fall 2020 and 2021, however, both were not completed, reported CNN. As a result, the investigation didn’t show any records of Izzy being diagnosed with autism nor being “expressly” bullied for being autistic.
The investigative team recommended the school district train their staff on bullying and “trauma-informed, poverty training,” reported CNN. Foxboro Elementary was also encouraged to establish protocols for keeping records of bullying allegations.
Izzy’s bullying allegations were not the first the Davis School District had come across. Before her death, the Justice Department had done a detailed report on Black and Asian American students being harassed within the Davis School District, per CNN. The DOJ found students’ reports and complaints went “deliberately ignored,” such as Izzy’s.
“We are taking it seriously. We vow to continue our ongoing and extensive efforts to foster a welcoming environment for all students in the Davis School District,” said the Davis School District in a statement via CNN.