Utah Jazz pauses to remember child bullying victim Izzy Tichenor

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 11, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Utah Jazz paused Thursday night for a moment of silence to remember 10-year-old Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor, who reportedly took her own life last Saturday after a period of being bullied.

“What happened to her, she did not deserve that,” Jasmine Rhodes, Izzy’s aunt, told reporters at a news conference held 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.”

The young girl’s mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, has said that Izzy, who was Black and autistic, reported being “belittled and bullied” at her North Salt Lake school, Foxboro Elementary School, in the Davis School District.

The Department of Justice on Oct. 21 reported it had reached a settlement with Davis School District following a multi-year investigation into racial discrimination in its schools.

“The investigation revealed persistent failures to respond to reports of race-based harassment of Black and Asian-American students by district staff and other students,” the DOJ statement says. “The department’s review, which focused on 2015-2020, found hundreds of documented uses of the N-word, among other racial epithets, derogatory racial comments, and physical assaults targeting district students at dozens of schools.”

Systemic problem

A Davis School District reaction statement said, in part:

“The district takes these findings very seriously. They do not reflect the values of this community and the expectations of the district. The district pledges to correct these practices.

“The agreement details specific steps the district will take to strengthen its procedures, training and practices for investigation and resolving allegations of racial harassment and discrimination. The district takes seriously its duty to promptly and appropriately investigate and resolve any complaints of discrimination, including harassment on the basis of race.

“This important work begins immediately and will continue over the next several years. Within the next 30 days, the district will share additional information with parents, staff, and students outlining the initial steps it will take to implement the needed changes. The district is wholeheartedly committed to creating and maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all students free from harassment and discrimination.”

Utah Jazz

A spokesman for the Utah Jazz spoke about Izzy in a tribute:

“Ladies and gentlemen, please rise and join us for a moment of silence as our community mourns the tragic loss of Isabella Faith Tichenor, a child lost far too soon. Izzy touched the hearts of everyone who knew her with an unwavering willingness to always help others. She shared her kindness with everyone, especially with her infectious laugh. A daughter, a sister, and a friend, she will be missed by all who knew her. Izzy was light. Izzy was love.”

A fundraising account set up with the stated purpose of helping pay for Izzy’s funeral and easing pressure on her family can be found here.

“Isabella Faith Tichenor was an amazing, kind, and beautiful 10 year old,” the page says. “She 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. Her beautiful life came to an end way too soon and was a shock to everyone.”

Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts is encouraged to reach out for counseling and help. To reach the National Suicide Prevention Hotline, call 800-273-8255. A page focusing on youth can be found here.

Izzy Tichenor. Photo: Gofundme: Stand For Izzy

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