FARMINGTON, Utah — At a meeting Tuesday, the Davis School District updated its investigation into allegations of bullying that led to the suicide of 10-year-old Izzy Tichenor.
Board President John Robison read the statement aloud at the meeting, over a week after Tichenor's death.
"We take this tragedy very seriously," said Robison.
Since her death, Tichenor's family has said they believe the girl was bullied due to being on the autism spectrum and having dyslexia.
Robison said "extensive resources" had been provided to the Tichenor family since they enrolled their children in Davis County schools, and that the family continued to send their children to the schools even after they moved outside of the district.
"That was because of the relationship they had with our schools and teachers," the statement says.
The statement adds that there were also allegations that Izzy was "racially harassed and discriminated against."
According to district officials, the investigation will be conducted by an independent team.
"As for the district and its schools, every incident of harassment and bullying is investigated," read Robison. "There is a process that is followed at the school level and the district level depending on the seriousness of any reported event."
Robison added that Davis Schools employs 22 family service workers, 53 elementary counselors, and 53 school psychologists to help students who need support.
A memorial service for Tichenor was held over the weekend.
“We do a very significant and dissecting analysis of what could’ve been missed by us,” said Superintendent Reid Newey.
Izzy’s death came just a few weeks after the Department of Justice condemned the Davis School District for “serious and widespread” racial harassment.
“We accept the findings of the DOJ and own that and take responsibility for that,” said Newey. “We feel our responsibility to change that.”
Newey said he wants to see the district focus on a culture of equity and inclusion. He said ten to fourteen percent of students are minorities.
“We want to continue to build diversity and have our children see reflected in their teachers and administrators their faces, the faces they see at home,” he said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, there is always help. Call the National Suicide Prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The lifeline is free and available 24/7.
Help is also available online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org