Racial harassment is an enormous problem in American schools, and yet another family is suffering the consequences of adults who did nothing to stop harmful behavior before it was too late.
This time, Utah mom Brittany Tichenor-Cox and the rest of her family are mourning her 10-year-old daughter, Isabella, or Izzy for short. Izzy died by suicide following repeated, documented instances of bullying at her school in the Davis School District, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Why was Izzy bullied? Her mom says she was targeted for being both a Black girl and a student with autism. Repeatedly. While her school’s and district’s administrators did nothing.
It gets worse: The U.S. Department of Justice has found that the Davis School District has failed a lot more students of color bullied with racist abuse.
The Tribune has more:
Investigators found that district administrators intentionally ignored “serious and widespread” racial harassment in its schools for years — failing to respond to hundreds of reports from Black students after they have been called slaves, the N-word, and heard threats that they would be lynched.
A few kids of color said they felt the predominantly white school district in northern Utah was condoning the way they were treated by taking no action, even when teachers directly witnessed discrimination. Some employees, they added, participated in it.
As long as districts and schools think race and students with disabilities can be ignored, tragedies like this will continue to occur.