School playground
Getty Images

10-Year-Old Girl Kills Herself After Schoolyard Fight With Alleged Bully Lands Online

The parents of Ashawnty Davis say her school could have done more to prevent the tragedy. 

The parents of a 10-year-old girl who took her own life say that she was a victim of “bullycide.” Ashawnty Davis, a student at Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora, Colo., got into “her first ever fight” late last month, that ultimately led to her suicide.

Ashawnty hanged herself. She died on Wednesday (Nov. 29) after two weeks on life support at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

According to her mother, Latoshia Harris, the fifth grader  got into a fight while confronting the girl about bullying her. The scuffle, which occurred after school, was recored on a cellphone by another student and uploaded to the app Musical.ly.

The footage went viral, and the bullying apparently got worse after it was posted. Ashawnty was “devastated” when she found out that the recording was online, her father, Anthony Davis said.

After being made aware of the video through Denver news station KDVR, last month, the school district said that it was “said that it was “looking into the matter” and would “take appropriate action to ensure the safety of all students involved.”

The district spoke with the parents of the children involved and turned the tape over to the Aurora Police Department.

But Ashanwty’s parents feel that the school could have done more. “There was nothing done about it,” Harris said. “When I got the call telling me that my daughter had been in a fight, they never gave me the opportunity to meet with the other parents to come to the bottom of the line.”

Ashawnty’s parents claim that the school denied their request to meet with a parent of the child involved in the fight. The school says they “are not aware of such a request.”

Still, a potential meeting could’ve changed the outcome of the tragedy, and saved Ashanwty’s life. “I could have taken her out of the school. It could have been different if she would have faced the girl,” said Harris.

“My child was supposed to be protected at school and for me not to have no protection there it just makes me feel unsafe about my other children and the other children that are there,” she added.

In a statement released Thursday, the Sunrise Elementary called Ashwanty’s death a “heartbreaking loss for the school community.”

“Mental health support will be made available for any students who need help processing the loss,” the statement continued. “We do not tolerate bullying of any kind in our schools and we have a comprehensive bullying prevention program in place at all of our schools.

“The safety and well-being of students is our highest priority, and we strive every day to ensure schools are safe, welcoming and supportive places that support learning.”

Click here to support a GoFundMe page launched in Ashawnty's memory.

From the Web

More on Vibe

A volunteer distributes food at CAMBA's Beyond Hunger Emergency Food Pantry on February 18, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The non-profit agency assists low-income residents and those affected by food stamp cuts. Currently the food pantry sees up to 4,500 individuals per month with the numbers rising. As Congress prepares to cut billions of dollars more from the food stamp program, food pantries around the country are preparing for an influx of those needing their assistance.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

SNAP Changes Place Nearly 700,000 People At Risk Of Losing Food Stamps

In a report by USA TODAY, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assisted over 40 million Americans in 2017. Two years later, the program faces changes that may result in the loss of food stamps for 688,000 people. According to NBC News, the Trump administration will revamp the mandate that recipients work a certain amount of hours to be eligible for food assistance.

Those within the age range of 18 to 49 and have no children or are able-bodied were previously mandated to work no less than 20 hours a week in order to qualify. Now, as states were once allowed to excuse this requirement due to increased unemployment rates in certain states, the Trump administration will no longer allow states to practice this method. NPR notes Americans within that age range tallied at four million in 2016. The new mandate will only allow states to waiver a recipient's unemployment situation if that state's unemployment rate is six percent.

"We're taking action to reform our SNAP program in order to restore the dignity of work to a sizable segment of our population and be respectful of the taxpayers who fund the program," Sonny Perdue, Agriculture Secretary, said. "Americans are generous people who believe it is their responsibility to help their fellow citizens when they encounter a difficult stretch. That's the commitment behind SNAP, but, like other welfare programs, it was never intended to be a way of life."

Analysts state the government could save close to $5 billion through this new legislation. Out of the 2.9 million adults that fall into this category that utilize SNAP, 2.1 million are unemployed.

Continue Reading
Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Cory Booker Outlines $100 Billion Plan To Support HBCUs

In an effort to continue the support of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), revealed a plan to do just that. According to The Hill, Booker shared on Tuesday (Dec. 3) a $100 billion investment agenda that'll focus its funds on the education departments in the form of grants, revamp infrastructure, and stand at the forefront of pushing policies that'll combat climate change.

"I am here today because of the power of these institutions to uplift and bring about opportunity to Black Americans," Booker said. "As president, I will redouble our efforts to support and invest in HBCUs across the country—my mother and father wouldn't have it any other way." His parents attended Fisk University and North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

Part of the proposal also aims to bolster HBCUs' Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs and support the Debt-Free College Act. The legislation has the potential to allow students at HBCUs, MSIs (minority-serving institutions), or public colleges to receive a higher education debt-free through public funding.

Another point of the plan aims to "provide $30 billion in grants to upgrade infrastructure, including facilities and technology, at HBCUs and MSIs to ensure all students have access to a world-class education in world-class facilities."

Read more of the plan's points here.

As the son of two proud HBCU grads (@FISK1866 and @NCCU!), I'm proud to announce that today my campaign is proposing the boldest-ever plan to invest in HBCUs: https://t.co/j7kpKmGRjV

— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) December 3, 2019

Continue Reading
Texas Department of Criminal Justice via AP

Texas Appeals Court Grants Stay Of Execution For Rodney Reed Stay

A Texas Criminal Appeals Court granted Rodney Reed a stay of execution on Friday (Nov. 15). The decision came hours after the state’s parole board recommended that Reed’s lethal injection be delayed by 120-days.

Reed was scheduled to be lethally injected on Nov. 20. Although the court decision means that he no longer has an execution date, the parole board failed to approve a request to commute Reed's sentence to life in prison, the Washington Post reports.

The 51-year-old Texas native has spent that last two decades on death row for the1996 rape and murder of Stacey Stites. Reed has filed numerous appeals over the years but his story only recently went viral catching the attention of lawmakers and celebrities including Rihanna, Oprah, Beyonce, T.I., Kim Kardashian West, the latter of whom was visiting with Reed when his execution was delayed.

Reed, who has long maintained his innocence, says Stite's was killed by her fiance, Jimmy Fennell. Fennell’s lawyer Robert Phillips “laughed off” Reed’s allegations, according to numerous reports.

Fennell served 10 years in prison for the attempted kidnapping and rape of another woman while working as a police officer in 2007. He was briefly suspected in Stite’s murder. Authorities turned their attention to Reed after his DNA was found inside Stites, from what he contends was a consensual relationship. Reed, who is black, believes that race played a part in the case because Stites was a white woman. He was convicted by an all-white jury.

Reed’s legal team has also provided evidence to prove his innocence, including new witnesses.

"We’re happy that we’re going to have an opportunity to present the compelling evidence that Rodney Reed didn’t commit the crime," Bryce Benjet of the Innocence Project, who took on Reed’s case, told The Texas Tribune. "The Court of Criminal Appeals recognized the substance of this case and the need for a special hearing where all the evidence can be considered."

Continue Reading

Top Stories