Family of bullied Utah girl who died by suicide files claim

Nov 2, 2022, 2:52 AM | Updated: 5:10 pm
FILE - Brittany Tichenor-Cox, holds a photo of her daughter, Isabella "Izzy" Tichenor, during an in...

FILE - Brittany Tichenor-Cox, holds a photo of her daughter, Isabella "Izzy" Tichenor, during an interview during an interview on Nov. 29, 2021, in Draper, Utah. The family of a Black fifth grader in Utah who died by suicide last year plans to file a $14 million lawsuit against her school, arguing that an inadequate response to reports of her being bullied over her race and disabilities led to her death by suicide. Attorneys representing Brittany Tichenor-Cox on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022 said they would seek damages for the 2021 death of her daughter, Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The family of a Black fifth grader in Utah who died by suicide last year plans to file a $14 million lawsuit against her school, arguing that an inadequate response to reports of her being bullied over her race and disabilities led to her death.

Attorneys representing Brittany Tichenor-Cox on Wednesday said they would seek damages for the 2021 death of her daughter, Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor. In a notice of claim, they said the school had violated state and federal laws, including those that require schools ensure equal treatment, provide educational opportunity and protect students experiencing homelessness.

Notices of claim are required before people can sue government entities and the family’s claim said that the lawsuit will seek $14 million in damages. The notice of claim from Tichenor-Cox names Foxboro Elementary School in North Salt Lake City as a defendant, as well as its director and principal. It also names as defendants the Davis School District, school board and superintendent. They have 60 days to respond before the family can file a lawsuit based on the claim.

“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,” Chris Williams, spokesperson for the Davis School District, said in a statement after the notice of claim was filed.

Tichenor’s death in November 2021 sparked massive outcry and a groundswell of anger over youth suicide, bullying and the treatment of children with autism. In Utah, a predominantly white state where incidents of racism in schools frequently make headlines, it prompted state legislators to pass a new law requiring districts to track reported bullying and racism in schools.

The notice of claim recounts how Tichenor, who was autistic and the only Black student in her class, was bullied by students who said she smelled, made fun of her skin color, eyebrows and used racist slurs against her. It provides a timeline of Tichenor’s parents repeatedly alerting the school of bullying in the months leading up to their daughter’s death and alleges administrators did not take action to stop it.

“As a result of this unchecked bullying and the school’s overall ‘deliberate indifference’ to minority students, Izzy failed nearly all her classes. At the time of her death, she could barely read or do math on a first-grade level,” it says.

The Davis School District teaches roughly 73,000 students in Salt Lake City’s north suburbs. Only about 1% are Black. It was reprimanded last year by the U.S. Department of Justice for failing to address widespread racial discrimination and forced to as part of a settlement agreement change its policies, offer more training and establish a new department to handle complaints.

The district defended its actions last year after Tichenor’s death, arguing it had responded to Tichenor’s family appropriately and “worked extensively” with them over their complaints.

__

Brady McCombs contributed reporting from Salt Lake City.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

murders...
Associated Press

Renton man gets 10 years in prison in drug trafficking case

A federal judge has sentenced a Renton, Washington man to 10 years in prison for his role in a violent drug distribution ring, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.
12 hours ago
Jorge Rodriguez, from the Venezuelan government delegation, center, speaks to the media as he arriv...
Associated Press

Venezuela’s gov, opponents resume talks; US eases sanction

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Venezuela’s government and its opposition on Saturday agreed to create a U.N.-managed fund to finance health, food and education programs for the poor, while the Biden administration eased some oil sanctions on the country in an effort to boost the newly restarted talks between the sides. The agreement signed in Mexico […]
1 day ago
FILE - View of the Jose Antonio Anzoategui oil complex in Barcelona, Anzoategui State, Venezuela, J...
Associated Press

Biden eases Venezuela sanctions as opposition talks resume

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration on Saturday eased some oil sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to support newly restarted negotiations between President Nicolás Maduro’s government and its opposition. The Treasury Department is allowing Chevron to resume “limited” energy production in Venezuela after years of sanctions that have dramatically curtailed oil and gas profits […]
1 day ago
Pakistan's former Prime Minister and opposition leader Imran Khan, center in seated, addresses to h...
Associated Press

Pakistan’s ex-PM Khan says his party to quit all assemblies

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s former premier Imran Khan said Saturday his party was quitting the country’s regional and national assemblies, as he made his first public appearance since being wounded in a gun attack earlier this month. Khan, a former cricket star turned politician, was ousted in a no-confidence vote in parliament in April. He […]
1 day ago
FILE - This file booking photo provided by the Delaware Department of Justice shows Barry Croft Jr....
Associated Press

Judge denies bid for new trial in Whitmer kidnapping case

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a new trial request by two men convicted of conspiring to kidnap Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Lawyers for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. alleged misconduct by a juror and unfairness by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker following their conviction by a federal jury […]
1 day ago
FILE - This photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections shows Kevin Johnson.  A federa...
Associated Press

Judge denies 19-year-old’s ask to attend father’s execution

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A federal judge has denied a request from a 19-year-old woman to allow her to watch her father’s death by injection, upholding a Missouri law that bars anyone under 21 from witnessing an execution. Kevin Johnson is set to be executed Tuesday for killing Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Officer William McEntee in […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
Family of bullied Utah girl who died by suicide files claim