FARMINGTON, Utah — The Davis School District has a three-member independent review team in place to investigate how the district handled allegations of bullying and racism against a 5th-grade student.
Last month, Izzy Tichenor died by suicide. Her family alleges the district did little after the family reported Izzy was being bullied for her race and disability.
The review team will consist of:
- Brian Garlock, a social worker with experience interviewing children about trauma
- Michelle Love-Day, an educator with experience as a teacher and administrator
- Abby Dizon-Maughan, an attorney and chairperson of the criminal justice committee of the NAACP-Salt Lake City branch
The district says the team’s report will not be biased toward the district or Tichenor’s family.
They will have access to student information and likely conduct interviews with staff and students.
Tyler Ayres, an attorney and spokesperson for Izzy Tichenor’s family, sent FOX 13 this statement:
“We appreciate this step towards addressing the racial insensitivity exhibited in Davis County School District and Foxboro Elementary. We are skeptical as to whether the investigation will result in significant change without extreme sanctions for those demonstrating the deliberate indifference identified in the DOJ report.”
In October, the Department of Justice released a report slamming the district after it found the district ignored widespread racial harassment.
Just hours after the announcement of the formation of the review team, the Davis School Board held its monthly meeting.
During public comment, some parents and faculty expressed their frustration with the racism they said they witnessed in the district.
“We need tools to know what to do when a student is called the n-word in our classrooms and in our schools,” said one woman, who identified herself as a teacher. “Because it happens all the time — all the time."
A parent added: “We have a lot of demons in Davis County that we can fight together. We have the tools. We have the ability. We can do it. We need to be able to advocate for Black lives and fight against racism.”
The district says there is no deadline for the independent review team to complete its investigation. The report will not determine any legal liabilities in its handling of accusations of racism and bullying.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, free and confidential help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visiting suicidepreventionlifeline.org