A Utah family is grieving their 10-year-old daughter who died by suicide following reports of the child being bullied at school.
Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor‘s said they were aghast when they discovered she had taken her own life on Saturday.
“What happened to her, she did not deserve that,” Jasmine Rhodes, Izzy’s aunt, told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “She deserved opportunities as any other kid deserves opportunities. She deserved to watch her siblings grow up … She just deserved so much more than what she got.”
Brittany Tichenor-Cox, Izzy’s mother, revealed her daughter — who was Black and had autism — reported being “belittled and bullied” at Foxboro Elementary School in North Salt Lake prior to her death but the school did nothing to combat the abuse.
“She was a happy little girl,” Tichenor-Cox said during the news conference, per KSL News Radio. “But as we all know, even as adults, you know there are some voices that rang higher.”
The Davis School District said in a statement how they were “devastated by the death” of Izzy and continuing to investigate the matter.
“We, like everyone, are devastated by the death of this child. Our hearts go out to the family,” the statement reads. “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.”
According to a GoFundMe page for the little girl, the 10-year-old was “an amazing, kind, and beautiful” girl who “touched the hearts of everyone she came in contact with.”
“She was her mommy’s best friend, the best big sister, and a light in this world,” wrote Tamika Naea, the page’s organizer.
Izzy’s obituary also stated that she “loved to sing [and] dance” and “wanted to be a professional dancer in New York or a professional cheerleader when she grew up.”
“She was a beautifully unique soul — full of love and kindness. She was bright and gifted,” the obit said.
Izzy’s grandmother, Pauletta Harris, said Izzy was a “happy little girl” who was full of “hope and dreams.”
“Being a 10-year-old, I don’t know if Izzy understood self-love,” Harris told the outlet. “I just know from what I witnessed from her, being around her, she was proud of being Isabella. She was happy with Isabella.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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