The funeral ceremony for the 10-year-old black girl who died by suicide gathered 300 mourners


Editor’s Notes • This article discusses the issue of suicide. If you or someone you know is at risk of self-harm, National Suicide Prevention Hotline provide 24-hour support at 1-800-273-8255.

Hubei Salt • When one of the speakers said for the first time, “Izzy should be here,” the crowd’s “yes” and “she should” affirmations turned into a muffled breath in the cool Tuesday night air. .

Some of their responses were broken by sniffles and sobs. Their faces were illuminated by flickering candles. And their words carry more weight when a 10-year-old black girl commits suicide.

Nearly 300 people came here to pay their respects Isabella Tichenor – affectionately known as Izzy – loves this park, Foxboro Hollow, because it has special plastic slides that she loves to pull down. She died on Saturday after Her mother said she was bullied because she was black and autistic. And her death has ripped through this community, with many accusing the Davis School District of ignoring the family’s concerns.

Some shared their own experiences of being harassed at school because of the color of their skin. They called on Utah to do better.

But for the most part, they were just trying to comfort each other in their shared grief.

Izzy’s mother, Brittany Tichenor-Cox, said: ‘I won’t let her name fade. Izzy’s younger brother Jaxson, 7, fidgets under the microphone, twirling around his mother’s knee.

“I miss Izzy. She’s my sister, and I love her,” he added as Tichenor-Cox lifted him up. “She would help me when I was bullied.”

Her family says the loss will make a hole, leaving them without the girl giggling obsessively about Hatchimals and coloring and purple books. Growing up, Izzy wanted to be a Disney character; Which one, she hasn’t decided yet.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) Paula Harris, mother of Brittany Tichenor-Cox, listens as others pay tribute to the life of her granddaughter Izzy Tichenor, November 9, 2021. Hundreds. who joined the Tichenor family in mourning the deaths of 10 people – one-year-old Isabella “Izzy” Tichenor during a vigil at Foxboro Hollow Park in North Salt Lake on Tuesday.

Her picture hung during Tuesday’s vigil, with her smiling in a blue floral dress and pink scarf as onlookers wiped away tears mixed with the dripping rain. . They filled the small gazebo, with many people standing outside, under umbrellas. Candles could be seen a few yards away, small lights showing the size of the crowd.

Those who were collected mainly told stories about Izzy. Several classmates mentioned her smile and thoughtfulness. A friend named Zaylee said she tried to protect Izzy from bullies. “No one deserves to feel that way, to feel worthless or as if they don’t belong to them,” the little girl said.

Tichenor-Cox thanked her. “You were there for her when no one else was. I’m very impressed.”

Izzy’s mother also talked about how her daughter answered every question with a little sassy. And she recalls saying to her every day, almost like a hymn or secret poem of their own: “Honey, you’re gorgeous. You are so Beautiful. You’re a beautiful baby.” She likes the way “baby” breaks sentences at both ends.

She sobbed on the Black Lives Matter flag, as her sister hugged her.

“I just want my daughter to have a fair chance,” Tichenor-Cox said, covering her face as her tiny body shook, seemingly smaller in grief. People in the crowd hugged their babies and children tightly.

The community believes that the predominantly white school and district should do more to protect the 10-year-old girl after her mother reported that teachers and other students were abusing her.

Tichenor-Cox has said that Izzy’s teacher ignored her. She also said teachers tell students they smell; Tichenor-Cox believes it was aimed at Izzy because then some kids specifically responded by threatening Izzy on the playground and telling her she was sick because of the color of her skin. Izzy has also told her mother that the children also mock her because of her disability. She said they called her name and mocked her appearance.

The mother said she went to the school district, called the administrators and principal, and spoke directly to the teachers. She said her reports were set aside and the violent abuse against her daughter was allowed to continue without intervention.

The Davis School District said in a statement Monday that it is working “extensively with the family” to resolve the incident and “will continue to assist them and others impacted by this tragedy.”

Izzy’s death, though, came about two weeks later The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a scathing report on the serious mishandling of the Davis School District among hundreds of reports of racism there. And some at the ceremony said they felt the district’s promises of change were hollow.

Josh Chamberlin, a community member of color, said Utah leaders are focusing on phony concerns about Important racial theory, not taught in the public schools here. They don’t want to talk about racism, empathy or diversity, he said, and they shy away from slavery.

“They didn’t know what to teach Black children,” Chamberlin said. “And they don’t know what to teach white kids about black kids.”

He said he faced racial slurs from his peers as a child, to the point where he had to leave his school and move elsewhere. “When I was in sixth grade, I was Izzy,” he said.

He repeated: “Izzy should be here. Izzy should be here because she’s 10. Izzy should be here because she’s a kid. ”

(Tichenor family) Pictured is Isabella Tichenor, who died by suicide on November 6, 2021.

Many people nodded and said that they had gone through similar experiences in Utah or that their kids had. Mario Mathis, a member of Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter’s board, said his brother also died by suicide, when Mathis was 7 years old.

“How do we solve this problem?” he begged. “How do we prevent this from ever happening again? I know how black people are treated in Utah. I know how Blacks are treated in America.”

Many urge parents to talk to their children about bullying and bullying, and check them out for warning signs of suicidal behavior, especially after Izzy’s death.

“We need to talk to our kids about being black,” added Rae Duckworth, leader of Black Lives Matter is here. “White kids need to hear that, too. We also need to talk about mental health. Mental health is a real conversation, very difficult to have in this state. “

Duckworth’s five-year-old daughter watched from one of the couches in a Hello Kitty hat. Nivia Castillo stood nearby with a 6-year-old girl, Nya. She said her daughter was told by other children at preschool that her hair was bad, that it was “not right” and had to be straight.

“As a parent, it’s heartbreaking,” Castillo said.

Sapphire Robinson, a licensed Black child and family therapist in Utah, added that the lives of black children should be more important than the feelings of whites; that school districts should protect Black children rather than cater to white families who don’t want to have difficult conversations.

“It can be hard to tell your kids about race, but you have to,” she says. “Otherwise, you’ll tell them about death.”

Those in the protest whispered in agreement. When it was over, they piled up unicorns and bunnies, carnations, and daisies at a small memorial to Izzy. Many people walked away repeating, “Stand for Izzy,” shielding the flames of their candles from the wind so that they would continue to burn in the dark. The funeral ceremony for the 10-year-old black girl who died by suicide gathered 300 mourners

Yasmin Harisha

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