School staff failed to protect a young student from bullying, who took her own life after her classmates and teachers complained that she smelled bad and needed to bathe, new report reveals

The school officials didn’t protect a 10-year-old girl from bullies, who killed herself after students and teachers complained that she smelled, new report reveals. The distressed black girl, who was on the autism spectrum, sprayed her clothes with air freshener after being told by other students and even a teacher that she smelled bad, her family said. The report revealed that the student was told by her classmates and teachers that she smelled and needed to bathe, but reportedly found evidence that she was bullied because of her race or autism. It remains unclear whether the bullying she’d suffered was racist.

An investigative report commissioned by the Davis School District in Utah has revealed that the school failed to properly deal with complaints made by Isabella Izzy Tichenor’s mother Brittany Tichenor-Cox in the months running-up to her November 2021 death, the New York Post reports.

According to the report, one of the teachers at Foxboro Elementary School asked if the little had taken a shower while remarking on how she smelled. 

The elementary school fostered an atmosphere in which bullying could go underreported, un-investigated, and unaddressed, the CNN reports. 

The Department of Justice said that an investigation, launched weeks before the girl’s death, revealed that the school district spent years ignoring allegations of racist bullying made by black and Asian students, as well as their families.

It remains unclear whether the bullying she’d suffered was racist.

According to the report, when the student told Izzy she needed to wash her hair, this comment could have been borne out of racial animus, could have been an innocuous observation, or could have been a cloaked insult about poverty.

Officials said that the school did not do enough to protect the child and address the bullying allegations made by her mother in a timely manner. 

The victim’s sister also complained of racist bullying, even before her sibling’s death. In one incident, she was called the n-word, her mom said.  

According to the family’s attorney, Tyler Ayres, Izzy’s mother had reported the bullying to teachers and school officials, but felt ignored.

The Davis School District released a statement and said that: “We are taking it seriously. We vow to continue our ongoing and extensive efforts to foster a welcoming environment for all students in the Davis School District.”

The victim’s mother said that the teacher told Izzy she smelled bad, a comment she believes was also made by other kids on the school’s playground because of her daughter’s skin color. 

Unfortunately, the little girl brought a bottle of air freshener to school to wear as perfume, per reports.

According to the mother, the teacher also allegedly told her daughter to sit down when she asked for help, and that she didn’t want to deal with her.

The students also made fun of the little girl for the way she looked and for her autism, for which she was awaiting a formal diagnosis at the time of her death. 

Several weeks before the girl’s death, the Department of Justice released a report after reviewing more than 200 allegations of racial harassment and other discriminations and conducting five visits to the district.

The DOJ released the following report: “Black students reported strikingly similar experiences throughout the District: white and other non-Black students routinely called Black students the n-word and other racial epithets, called them monkeys or apes and said that their skin was dirty or looked like feces. Peers taunted Black students by making monkey noises at them, touching and pulling their hair without permission, repeatedly referencing slavery and lynching, and telling Black students “go pick cotton” and “you are my slave.” 

Harassment related to slavery increased when schools taught the subject, which some Black students felt was not taught in a respectful or considerate manner. White and other non-Black students demanded that Black students give them an “N-Word Pass,” which non-Black students claimed gave them permission to use the n-word with impunity, including to and around Black students.”