UTAH

Family of 10-year-old who died by suicide tells Davis schools “settle, or we’ll sue”

Nov 2, 2022, 3:56 PM | Updated: 7:43 pm
Lawyers for the family of 10-year-old Izzy Tichenor intend to sue the Davis School District if the ...
Lawyers for the family of 10-year-old Izzy Tichenor intend to sue the Davis School District if the district won't settle with the Tichenor family.(Undated photo of Isabella "Izzy" Tichenor. Family photo)
(Undated photo of Isabella "Izzy" Tichenor. Family photo)

SALT LAKE CITY — Lawyers for the family of 10-year-old Izzy Tichenor intend to sue the Davis School District if the district won’t settle with the Tichenor family. Tichenor died by suicide after reporting bullying at Foxboro Elementary School.

In all the suit says the family would seek $14 million including wrongful death and punitive damages. Several unnamed teachers, the principal, the superintendent and the school board are also named.

A notice to file dated Oct. 2, outlines how Izzy’s mother went to school leaders in September of 2021. She told school leaders about what she calls the ten weeks of bullying, abusive behavior, racism, ableism, and sexism her daughter endured.

A notice to file, said KSL Legal Analyst Greg Skordas, is the precurser to a lawsuit. 

“The notice is filed, the government has a chance to respond and if it can’t be resolved through this notice a lawsuit can be filed,” said Skordas. 

The notice to file claims that school administrators and teachers failed to take to action to protect Izzy. The family is seeking more than 14 million in damages including wrongful death. According to Skordas, there are significant punitive claims made in the notice to file. 

“So typically, there’s a period of time where the government has to respond, it’s usually something like thirty or sixty days. The government can then can say, ‘yes we’ll pay you some money we’ll work something out.’ Or they can say, ‘no go ahead and file your lawsuit and we’ll go from there,'” Skordas told KSL NewsRadio.

“Part of what the plaintiffs, the lawyers, would have to prove is that the school both knew about the bullying and the fact that this child was undergoing a lot of stress, but that they did nothing about it.”

Skordas said that the school district has the right to either respond and settle the case or wait for a lawsuit. 

“So the school district doesn’t respond to this at all, or if they respond and say we’re not going to pay you the money, that opens the door for a lawsuit. And it appears the plaintiffs are looking toward filing a federal lawsuit,” he said. 

On Wednesday afternoon, the Davis School District provided the following statement:

The Davis School District sends its sincere, heartfelt condolences to the family of Izzy Tichenor. As we approach the anniversary of her passing, we are mindful of the impact she’s left on the community. We love Izzy and our focus and energy remain devoted to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students.

We appreciate the interest on the case, but until we carefully review it and confer with legal counsel, our district will not be able to comment further.”

If you or anyone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-TALK) or the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (1-801-583-2500).

Our previous reporting:

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Family of 10-year-old who died by suicide tells Davis schools “settle, or we’ll sue”