ALL NEWS

Davis district initiates new partnership in efforts against racism in schools

Jan 4, 2022, 10:40 AM | Updated: Jan 5, 2022, 9:21 am

davis district...

FILE: Davis School District school bus. (Matt Gade/Deseret News)

(Matt Gade/Deseret News)

FARMINGTON, Utah — A Davis School District news release announced the district is bringing in new partners for a program to combat racism and discrimination in schools. 

The Davis School District announces new partnership

A district news release named its three new partners: Colonel Jenise Carrol from Hill Air Force Base, Utah First Lady Abby Cox and Davis County Commissioner Bob Stevenson. With their help, Superintendent Reid Newey said the district is hoping to “eliminate discrimination and increase inclusion and equity” in schools. 

The Davis School District has received criticism for several reported instances of bullying and racism towards students from their peers. An investigation by the U.S. Justice Department reported cases of “severe racial harassment of black and Asian-American students” at Davis schools. 

Department of Justice investigates, publishes report about “serious and widespread racial harassment”

The department’s investigation of the district began in July 2019. They published their report in October 2021. 

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 department’s review… 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.

The investigation also concluded that Davis was ineffective in responding to instances of harassment and “condoned” harmful behavior against students, and especially against students with marginalized identities. 

As the news release stated, Davis is the second largest school district in Utah. The district has approximately 73,000 students enrolled in its 92 schools. The DOJ report said that Black and Asian-American students make up roughly 1% of the entire student population. 

After the investigation concluded and the DOJ published its scathing report, an agreement was made in order to remedy some of the alleged “failures” of the district in regard to protecting vulnerable students. 

Steps laid out for the district

Davis agreed to the following “anti-discrimination” policies and procedures. 

  • create a new department to handle complaints of race discrimination;
  • train staff on how to identify, investigate, and respond to complaints of racial harassment and discriminatory discipline practices;
  • inform students and parents of how to report harassment and discrimination;
  • create a centralized, electronic reporting system to track and manage complaints and Davis’s response to complaints;
  • implement student, staff, and parent training and education on identifying and preventing race discrimination, including discriminatory harassment;
  • analyze and review discipline data and amend policies to ensure non-discriminatory enforcement of discipline policies; and
  • develop a districtwide procedure to assess requests for student groups and treat such requests fairly.

Backlash following death of black, autistic student

The DOJ report was published in October. In early November, a Davis School District student died by suicide. Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor, a 10-year-old, Black, autistic girl was reportedly constantly bullied at school about her autism and her skin color

Tichenor’s family said her teachers at Foxboro Elementary contributed to the problem. They said Izzy felt her teacher didn’t like her

The district announced in mid-November that they’d be recruiting an independent team to investigate the instances of bullying Izzy’s family reported. Davis also issued a statement offering condolences and citing the planned investigation.

However, a statement issued on behalf of the Tichenor family expressed that they wished the district’s statement reflected their attitude and actions when Izzy was allegedly experiencing bullying. 

Read more: Davis School District will investigate suicide of autistic girl

Following the report and the death of Izzy Tichenor, the district publicized steps taken in accordance with their agreement with the DOJ and in an effort to combat racism. 

Read more: Davis School District appoints new assistant superintendent

The most recent addition of the 3 new partners is the district’s next step. 

The Davis School District School Board meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the district offices in Farmington. At the meeting, the district plans to unveil more “community-wide” anti-discrimination efforts.

Other Stories: 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Visitors stand at the closed gates leading to the Eiffel Tower, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 in Paris....

OLEG CETINIC Associated Press

Eiffel Tower operator warns the landmark is closed as strike turns visitors away for a second day

A strike at the Eiffel Tower over poor financial management turned away visitors on Tuesday for the second consecutive day.

4 hours ago

House fire in St. George. Initial investigations suggest it was accidental....

Derrick Jones

Family displaced after a fire in their St. George home

Emergency fire crews responded to a St. George fire after a passerby saw smoke from the garage of a home. 

5 hours ago

the front of a homeless shelter, budget plan utah...

Eric Cabrera

Salt Lake business leaders show support for governor’s budget plan to help homeless people in Utah

Leaders who approve of the budget plan said they had seen a huge difference in downtown Salt Lake over the past six months.

6 hours ago

UTA Frontrunner commuter rail. UTA Plans to address delays by updating cars and adding a new line t...

Curt Gresseth

UTA boss talks about train delays, says improvements coming

Despite frustrating delays, UTA has a 90 percent "on-time" record, says the executive officer.

7 hours ago

nikki haley shown, she will be in utah next week...

Bridger Beal-Cvetko, KSL.com

Nikki Haley to visit Utah next week ahead of Super Tuesday presidential caucus votes

Nikki Haley plans to hold a rally at the Noorda Center for the Performing Arts on Utah Valley University's campus in Orem on the morning of Feb. 28.

8 hours ago

solar panel shown, solar power in utah is the major focus of a proposed law...

Heather Peterson

Bill focusing on solar power customers in Utah gets favorable recommendation in Senate committee

Right now, Rocky Mountain Power only credits solar power customers in Utah about 5 cents for the power they send back to the grid.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Davis district initiates new partnership in efforts against racism in schools