UTAH (ABC4) – The Davis School District has provided an update on their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of 10-year-old Izzy Tichenor.
Izzy, a student at Foxboro Elementary, committed suicide after her mother, Brittany Tichenor, said her daughter was often reportedly the target of bullying as a person of color living with autism and dyslexia
Board of Education President John Robison read the statement at a meeting on Tuesday expressing the district’s “sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family of Izzy Tichenor.”
The district says that multiple individuals from school board members, school administrators, and school personnel have been meeting daily since Izzy’s death.
Robison went on to say:
“There are many things we can’t share about our direct interactions with the family because of privacy concerns and professional obligations. Generally speaking, extensive resources were provided to the family since enrolling their children. In fact, the family chose to continue having their children attend our schools after moving outside the district. That was because of the relationship they had with our schools and teachers.”
The district explained that they are running an independent investigation to review the processes they have in place and the allegations that Izzy was racially harassed and discriminated against.
The investigation will feature an “expert in interviewing children about trauma, someone who is an expert in educational practices and someone who is an expert in the law.”
The district says ever since the Department of Justice began investigating the discrimination complaints, two and a half years ago, “every school administrator had begun extensive training in investigating, assessing and responding to all racial harassment allegations.”
“We will continue to provide and offer support to Izzy’s family and the school community as we move forward.”
This statement comes four days after the Davis School district announced their decision to launch an independent investigation into the alleged bullying incidents surrounding Izzy.
In October, the Department of Justice reached a settlement with the Davis School District after its investigation revealed that there were persistent failures, by district staff and students, to respond to reports of race-based harassment of Black and Asian-American students.
The department found that Davis School District disciplined Black students more harshly than their white peers for similar behavior and that Black students were denied the ability to form student groups while supporting similar requests by other students.
The investigation, which was focused from 2015-2020, found hundreds of documented uses of the N-word, multiple racial epithets, derogatory racial comments, and physical assaults targeting students at dozens of schools.
The DOJ concluded that Davis School District’s ineffective response left students vulnerable to continued harassment and that students believed the district condoned the behavior.