SALT LAKE CITY – Izzy Tichenor’s family is seeking more than $14 million in damages from Davis School District, claiming the district and 10-year-old Foxboro Elementary School are responsible for the events that led the fifth-grader to commit suicide a year ago.
This Notice of Claim was filed Tuesday, just days before the first anniversary of Izzy’s death. He explains how the family believes the teachers and staff at Foxboro Elementary failed to get the help Izzy needed and violated state and federal laws in doing so.
The 13-page document claims teachers ignored the bullying and harassment Izzy frequently experienced from other classmates, even though Izzy’s mother made numerous calls to the school to report the incidents .
While he acknowledges that the school has investigated at least one bullying incident where a student called Izzy the “N” word, he says the school principal failed to properly discipline the student and rather made it appear that the student was rewarded for his behavior.
It also details an incident that Izzy’s mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, reported at school, where the same boy allegedly told Izzy he had brought a gun and threatened to use it.
The document says the school investigated again, but says the investigation was not thorough and could not determine whether a threat was made.
The notice of complaint also states that the school “failed to provide Izzy with appropriate assessments of her abilities and limitations for her academic and social development.”
According to the notice, Izzy failed school projects, homework, tests and quizzes and had a reading comprehension level for a much younger child and low math proficiency.
Despite this, Tichenor-Cox’s attorneys said Foxboro continued to place Izzy “in a mainstream school that she was not able to understand in the setting and with other children she was placed and her grades l ‘indicate’.
He also claims the school failed to connect Izzy and her family to available state and federal assistance, even though teachers and staff knew she was a vulnerable student without a home.
Instead, the grievance document says the teachers openly commented on Izzy’s hygiene and smell in front of other students and created a hostile classroom environment.
“Defendants ignored indicators of homelessness and corresponding challenges to fitting in with other children and succeeding in school,” he says.
Izzy died by suicide on November 6, 2022. The Notice of Claim states that her death occurred after Izzy felt “bullied, abused, discriminated against, excluded, alone and vulnerable due to disrespect by the District and Foxboro State and Federal Regulations.”
“Izzy was bullied, abused, harassed and excluded from activities because she was female, learning disabled, poor, homeless and black,” the notice reads.
Lawyers representing Tichenor-Cox said she is asking the Davis School District for $14.1 million in damages, and the district has 30 days to pay it or she intends to sue. in justice.
On Wednesday, the Davis School District released this statement in response to the Notice of Claim:
The Davis School District sends its sincere condolences to the family of Izzy Tichenor. As the anniversary of her death approaches, we are aware of the impact she left on the community. We love Izzy and our focus and energy remains dedicated to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all students.
We appreciate the interest in the case, but until we review it carefully and consult with legal counselour district will not be able to comment further.
The Davis School District teaches approximately 73,000 students in the northern suburbs of Salt Lake City. Only about 1% are black. He was reprimanded Last year by the US Department of Justice for failing to address widespread racial discrimination and forcing, as part of a settlement agreement, to change its policies, provide more training and create a new department to handle complaints .
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text line by texting TALK to 741741.