10-Year-Old Black, Autistic Girl Kills Herself Following Bullying at Utah School

A 10-year-old Black girl died by suicide after school administration and the district did nothing to stop a teacher and students from racially bullying her. She was a student in a Utah school district, that had been the subject of a federal racism investigation.

Isabella "Izzy" Faith Tichenor took her own life over the weekend because she was allegedly racially bullied by her classmates and teachers. She was studying at Foxboro Elementary school in North Salt Lake, Utah. The girl's mom, Brittany Tichenor, reached out to the Davis School District "multiple times" and conveyed how her daughter was mistreated by some students after starting her fifth grade. But the mother's grievances were left unnoticed and no concrete action was taken by the school.

Isabella Faith Tichenor
Isabella Faith Tichenor

Relentless Bullying

On November 6, 2021, Isabella was discovered hanging in a closet at the Tichenor home in North Salt Lake. According to Tichenor, her daughter was a victim of bullying because she was both Black, and an autistic student. She said other children recognized her differences and constantly bullied her. "She was an easy target especially after a teacher joined in mocking this young lady," the family said in a statement.

Her parents continued, "As any parent would, we reported this abuse to her teachers, the school administration, and the district administration. Nothing. Nothing was done to protect Izzy. Children did not have their behavior corrected so the torment of this child continued day after day."

Did Isabella's Teacher Said Black Students Smell Bad?

Just about a month after the school began, Isabella informed her mother that she didn't feel her teacher liked her because she would greet "all the other kids" in her class but would give least attention to Isabella.

Isabella's peers would tease her several times. Her teacher had once reportedly complained during class that students smelled bad. Due to the teacher's remarks, other kids began taunting her— claiming that it was Isabella. Isabella then started to carry air freshener to school to dispense as perfume because of the offensive comments.

The family's attorney revealed that Isabella's siblings have also been the victims of racial abuse at the Foxboro Elementary School. One of her siblings was even being called the n-word. "The offending student was not disciplined in any way. We are investigating the school's lack of response but cannot say more about it at this time," the lawyer said.