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.