A girl of 10 took her own life after fellow students, and even teachers kept suggesting that she takes a shower because she smelled.
The shocking reason behind the girl's suicide was unearthed during a new investigation into Isabella "Izzy" Tichenor's tragic death.
When the girl took her life, her mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, was also complaining about the girl getting bullied while attending Foxboro Elementary School, which is close to Salt Lake City. The woman claimed that the girl had become a target for bullies due to her race and disability.
According to her mom, the girl was both dyslexic and autistic.
Following the tragic death, an investigation led by the Davis School District started. A new finding from the investigation has discovered that Izzy was told she should bathe because she smelled.
Despite her mother's claim, none of the school employees or students remembered Izzy being bullied over her race or her medical condition. Nevertheless, a lot of people commented about the girl's hygiene.
According to one incident, Izzy's mother informed a teacher that a classmate bullied the girl by telling her she smelled and should wash her hair.
A teacher had also made a similar comment to the girl, telling her she should shower because she smelled. Following the comment, the girl sprayed Febreze on herself.
According to the investigation, there was no direct evidence that Izzy was targeted for her race, autism, or dyslexia.
The school did not also have any record of the girl being autistic. Tichenor-Cox had requested an assessment in 2020, but the girl had not received formal testing to prove she suffered from the condition.
The investigative report even said that "issues relating to race, disability, and poverty sometimes intersect" and that this can cause additional complications to already difficult situations.
The report concluded that it was sometimes difficult to separate one of these issues from the rest. According to the report, the comment about Izzy needing to wash her hair could have been fueled by racial attitudes, an innocent observation, or have served as an insult to the girl due to poverty.
The investigation also discovered no quick research into the mother's claims about her child's bullying. After the girl died, the staff took months to come up with an official record of the mother's bullying claims.
The staff did not know the district's definition of bullying. The school also allowed bullying to be "underreported, uninvestigated, and unaddressed."
The girl's mother reported the three bullying incidents on September 2021 at a time when a student was calling Izzy names. According to the mother, the student was also harassing her other daughters and saying that he had a gun.
The school looked into the claims and checked the student's backpack. A review of the security footage also showed no adequate evidence to support the allegations.
After around a week, Izzy's mom got in touch with the school to complain that the student had called Izzy's sister the "N-word" in addition to touching her. Nevertheless, the school said they could not verify the claims but eventually concluded that the likelihood that the incident took place was "more likely than not."
As a result, disciplinary action was taken against the student, who also agreed to avoid Tichenor-Cox's kids after the incident.
After the girl died, the Justice Department claimed that Black and Asian American students at the institution had undergone harassment for several years without anything being done about the problem.
The district has been under investigation by the DOJ since July 2019. Since then, the school district has responded to the investigation findings, telling the media that it was taking the report seriously.
In a statement the district made to the media, it claimed that it had vowed to continue with its ongoing and extensive efforts to create a welcoming environment for all students in the Davis School District.