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Family of 10-year-old who died by suicide seeks solutions

Nov 8, 2021, 7:43 PM
family of 10-year-old talks about suicide...
The family of Isabella Tichenor talk to media Monday. The family says the 10-year-old died by suicide after being bullied at school. Photo credit: Mark Wetzel, KSL TV

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah — The family of a 10-year-old in Davis School District says she died by suicide after being bullied at school.

Brittany Tichenor, the mother of Isabella Faith Tichenor, says her daughter, who was Black and autistic, was bullied at Foxboro Elementary. The family accuses the teachers of being part of the problem. They also allege the school district did nothing about it.

“She was a happy little girl,” Brittany Tichenor said during a news conference Monday. “But as we all know, even as adults, you know there are some voices that rang higher.”

Bullied 10-year-old dies by suicide

Brittany Tichenor recalled her 10-year-old daughter telling her that she didn’t think her teacher liked her. The mother also claimed the teacher said the class smelled. Brittany Tichenor also says Isabella wanted to wear air freshener as perfume.

“She was proud of being Isabella,” her mother said. “She was happy with Isabella.”

Brittany Tichenor wants all parents to understand all children are unique. And that is what makes them special.

“We need to make sure that whatever flaw our children have,” she said. “That we make sure they understand (it) is not a flaw. That is what makes you, you. That’s what makes you special.”

Davis school leaders investigating

The Davis School District issued the following statement:

It read: “We, like everyone, are devastated by the death of this child. Our hearts go out to the family. 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.”

There will be a vigil for 10-year-old Isabella Tichenor Tuesday evening at the Foxboro Hollow Park at 7 p.m.


Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Online resources

Mobile Apps

       SafeUT App

Warning signs of suicide

  • Talking about wanting to die
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no purpose
  • Talking about feeling trapped or in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious, agitated or recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings
The more of these signs a person shows, the greater the risk. Warning signs are associated with suicide but may not be what causes a suicide.

Information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

What to do if you see warning signs of suicide

  • Do not leave the person alone
  • Remove any firearms, alcohol, drugs or sharp objects that could be used in a suicide attempt
  • Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Take the person to an emergency room or seek help from a medical or mental health professional

Information from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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Family of 10-year-old who died by suicide seeks solutions