DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The community is remembering the life of 10-year-old Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor. Sunday marks one year since the young girl died by suicide after her mother says she was bullied at her elementary school reportedly for being a person of color and autistic.

Dozen showed up to Fox Hollow park to pay their respects Izzy.

An evening filled with song, dance, prayer and a family still grieving. Family, community and people touched by Izzy Tichenor, a10-year-old girl who’s life was taken too soon, gathered at Foxboro Hollow park just outside the school where Izzy Tichenor attended and where family says she experienced bullying.

Izzy’s mother Brittany Tichenor emotionally shared memories of her daughter including one of the very last things Izzy said to her, “she’s like, ‘Mom, thank you for loving me and thank you for being a good mom to me.”

Siblings sharing poems remembering Izzy with the message that she still lives in their hearts.

Izzy’s grandmother said she misses her hugs, “she would touch my face and give me the fuzzy hugs. I would give anything in the world for just another hug.”

Community members explained the importance of making sure children of color feel heard and supported at home and at school. A message Rae Duckworth of Black Lives Matter says is crucial.

“Standing for Izzy is going to be a monumental thing especially for children of color in Utah, so us coming out and gathering out of love is the most powerful thing we are capable of,” Duckworth explains.

It’s a message black parents like community activist Jaccari Kelley of Black Folks Utah also says is an issue her child has experienced at school, but hearing about Izzy was devastating.

“When I heard Izzy’s story it definitely broke my heart that a child actually resorted to suicide because the school wasn’t providing what it was supposed to,” Kelley said.

On November 2nd, Izzy’s family announced their plans to file a $14 million lawsuit against her school claiming they didn’t properly respond to reports that she was being bullied
due to being black and autistic. The family’s attorney believes the school didn’t follow state and federal laws that require schools to provide equal treatment of all students.

While Izzy’s story is one that has caught local and national attention on the harmful effects of bullying and racism, it’s one that this community wants to make sure doesn’t happen again.

“One is too many, we need to have this on our hearts every single day,” said Mario Mathis of the Utah Black History Museum bus.

Tyler Ayers, Tichenor family counsel, said while a notice of claim has been filed about the Davis School District, Sunday’s vigil was about love and sharing why Izzy’s life still matters.

Ayers said it’s going to be a long hard battle but it’s important for every child to feel supported in school and every resource should be used to help them succeed.

He said the district has 30 days to respond, the earliest a lawsuit would be flied is early December.

At this time the Davis School District says they continue to send their heartfelt condolences to the Tichenor family and those who have been affected. In regard to the notice of claim, until their legal team reviews, they are unable to comment of the case.