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Davis Journal

District names members of independent review committee

Dec 09, 2021 09:07AM ● By Becky Ginos

Brittany Tichenor-Cox stands with family and friends at a candlelight vigil for her 10-year-old daughter Izzy who took her own life last month. Photo by Roger V. Tuttle

FARMINGTON—Davis School District has announced the three-member independent review committee tasked with investigating allegations of bullying at Foxboro Elementary after a 10-year-old took her own life last month.

The family of fifth-grader Izabelle (Izzy) Tichenor, who was African American and autistic, said she was often a target for bullying because of her race and disability and that reports they made to the district and school administration were ignored. 

Following the allegations, the district determined an independent investigation should take place to review the case. The team is made up of individuals outside of the district.

Members of the Review Team include Brian Garlock, an expert in interviewing children about trauma, Michelle Love-Day, an expert in educational practices and Abby Dizon-Maughan, a lawyer.

  • Garlock is a licensed clinical social worker with 20 years of experience working with children and teens. He has extensive experience in trauma-informed interview techniques, and focuses much of his private practice on suicide prevention training.
  • Love-Day is an educator with experience as an elementary school teacher and an elementary school administrator. She also runs an educational consulting business that provides families and students of color tools and avenues to help them navigate the educational system.
  • Dizon-Maughan is an attorney at Parsons Behle & Latimer, former president of the Utah Minority Bar Association, Chairperson of the Criminal Justice Committee of the NAACP-Salt Lake Branch, is the chairperson of the Professional Standards Review Board, which reviews West Valley City Police Department uses of force, displays of force, firearm discharges, officer involved critical incidences, and complaints, and sits committees with the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding, the Review Team will investigate the allegations that Izzy was bullied and that the district failed to respond. They will also review the practices and processes used at Foxboro Elementary for responding to allegations of bullying at the school. In addition, the Review Team may conduct interviews with students and staff. Parents of students in the fifth grade and sixth grade will be made aware of the review and that their children may be interviewed. 

Attorneys with the Department of Justice, mental health professionals, staff at the Utah State Board of Education, educators actively involved with the Black community and members of the Children’s Justice Center Board all provided input in putting the Review Team together, according to the district.

“The review team will have as much time as it needs to complete its investigation, and after the investigation concludes, we will release the team’s findings and take all appropriate steps moving forward,” said Chris Williams, Director of Communication & Operations for the district in a statement. “In order to maintain integrity and independence of the investigation, we ask that the members of the team be allowed to conduct their review without interference from the public. We believe the members of the team have the experience and credentials to conduct a thorough, impartial, and complete review of the allegations.”