Family believes 10-year-old’s suicide was a result of bullyingNov 10, 2021 12:18PM ● By Becky Ginos
Izzy Tichenor, a fifth-grader at Foxboro Elementary took her own life. Her mother said the 10-year-old had been bullied at school. Courtesy photo
NORTH SALT LAKE—A North Salt Lake family is mourning the loss of their 10-year-old daughter Izzy after she committed suicide last Saturday.
The Foxboro Elementary fifth-grader was autistic and often bullied at school because she was different, her mother Brittany Tichenor said. “Other children, recognizing her differences, frequently bullied and belittled Izzy. She was an easy target especially after a teacher joined in mocking this young lady.”
Tichenor alleges she went to the school and they said they’d already handled it. “Why is my son being bullied too? All three of my kids have been bullied. The teacher is telling me it’s because Jackson was chasing them. No – how are you going to fix this? I’m done. I went to the district and nobody has done anything so my kids had to suffer.”
She was only 10, said Tichenor. “I was so involved with her at school. I even asked her, ‘Izzy, how is school going?’ she said ‘it’s going good.’ I said, ‘well how is your teacher treating you?’ she said ‘when I go to school she doesn’t say hi to me. She says hi to all the other kids but she doesn’t say hi to me.’ Now I can see that it affected her.”
Tichenor said she called the school but the teacher didn’t answer. She also claims the teacher told the class they stink and needed to take a bath. “This is how you talk to fifth graders? My daughter got out of the car, I didn’t know she brought air freshener with her. She was using the air freshener as a perfume because her teacher said that in front of the whole class. If you have an issue, you don’t know where a child is at, talk to the parents.”
When Izzy asked for help with her homework, the teacher told her to sit down, alleged Tichenor. “I called the district multiple times. She acted like she cared and she acted like she wanted to help.”
“We, like everyone, are devastated by the death of this child,” the district said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to the family. Foxboro Elementary has worked extensively with the family and will continue to provide help to them and others impacted by this tragedy. We take all incidents and reports of bullying seriously. At this point, the incident we are aware of involved another student. The teacher and administration responded quickly and appropriately. As with all allegations of bullying, our investigation will continue.”
“I always tell my children I love them,” said Tichenor. “That day she said, ‘mommy, you’re the best mommy in the whole wide world.’ Just before she passed we were talking about her book report. I went into the garage and not 10 minutes later my 7 and 6-year-olds found her hanging in the closet. I will never accept their apology. My 10-year-old had to take her last breath on Saturday and all because of this.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in Izzy’s name at https://gofund.me/e084824e.