In November, Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor died by suicide and her mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, is looking to hold Tichenor’s school accountable and seek justice for her daughter.
At the time of her death, Cox believed that 10-year-old Tichenor had been severely bullied at her school for being Black and autistic. Many were shocked and devastated that the young girl with such a bright future chose to take her life and believed that the school tried to cover up the extent of the situation.
New details have emerged from an independent report by the district. The team — which consists of three members — discovered that while Tichenor was a student at Foxboro Elementary in Farmington, Utah, she was told by students and staff that she had an odor and needed to bathe.
The team did not link that discovery to Tichenor being bullied due to her race or disability — however — they stated that the school dismissed Tichenor’s bullying allegations which allowed it to continue.
Their report stated, “issues relating to race, disability, and poverty sometimes intersect and when they do, can further complicate already challenging situations. It can be very difficult to extricate one from the others.”
“When a student told Izzy she needed to wash her hair, this comment could have been borne out of racial animus, could have been an innocuous observation, or could have been a cloaked insult about poverty,” it continued.
Cox was not part of the independent investigation into her daughter’s case.
The Davis School District released a statement that said, “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.”
Tichenor was not the first minority student to face troubling circumstances within that school district. After her death, the Department of Justice released findings that Black and Asian American students had a pattern of having their complaints ignored.