Community vigil held for 10-year-old girl who died by suicide in North Salt Lake
NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah — Hundreds of people gathered at Foxboro Elementary in North Salt Lake to remember a fifth-grade student who took her own life over the weekend.
The family says the girl had been bullied, and, despite numerous complaints, nothing changed.
Regardless of the reason, the rain didn’t stop a passionate community from coming to support the grieving family Tuesday night.
Rosalba Dominguez was the emcee of the vigil.
The gathering started with a prayer by Pastor Morgan with Living Waters Fellowship.
He thanked God for the opportunity to celebrate Izzy Tichenor and for the chance to remember such a beautiful young girl.
Hundreds of people attended a prayer vigil for the family of 10-year-old Izzy Tichener. The autistic girl killed herself last weekend. The family says she was bullied. More tonight ok @KSL5TV at 10. pic.twitter.com/g5dFixwKwh
— Debbie Worthen (@DebbieWorthen) November 10, 2021
The night was filled with memories of Izzy, who was Black and on the autism spectrum, and activism from the adults.
People in the audience cried as Izzy’s friends spoke about how they will remember their friend.
“Nobody deserves to feel that way,” said Zayley, a friend from Izzy’s class.
Sapphire Robinson, a licensed child and family therapist, said Izzy’s death could have been avoided.
“Her death is on Utah’s hands, the people of Utah, the school district,” she said.
The Davis School District is investigating the circumstances surrounding the 10-year-old’s death.
They released a statement Tuesday, saying, in part: “The teacher and administration responded quickly and appropriately as with all allegations of bullying, our investigation will continue.”
The suicide comes just two weeks after a scathing report by the U.S. Department of Justice on the Davis School District, saying there is “serious widespread racial harassment.”
The report went on to say, “Many black students said the harassment was so pervasive and happened so often in front of adults that they concluded school employees condoned the behavior and believed reporting it further would be futile.”
However, the vigil was focused more on change and love for the 10-year old girl.
The PTA president said the school is going to create a Buddy Bench in Izzy’s name. That’s a bench on the playground where kids can go if they need a friend.
Suicide prevention resources
If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or exhibiting warning signs, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Utah Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, which is answered 24/7/365 by crisis counselors at Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
You can also text TALK to 741741, and parents, students and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT (723388) to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.
- Parents, students, and educators can download the SafeUT app chat or call 833-3SAFEUT to connect with a licensed crisis counselor.
- First responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, and healthcare professionals, can chat with a crisis counselor at no cost 24/7/365 by downloading the SafeUT Frontline app and members of the National Guard can access help through the SafeUTNG app.
- For non-crisis situations, when you need a listening ear as you heal and recover from a personal struggle, call the Utah Warm Line at 1-833-SPEAKUT (773-2588) 8 a.m. – 11 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- At Huntsman Mental Health Institute, women can access maternal mental health services including birth trauma, pregnancy loss, infertility, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
- LiveOnUtah.org, a campaign by the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition offers suicide prevention training and has resources for faith-based groups, youth, LGBTQ+, and Employers.
Other community-based organizations that provide suicide prevention services, support groups, mental health education, counseling services and support:
- NAMI Utah: education, support and advocacy for individuals and families impacted by mental illness
- Latino Behavioral Health Services: Latinx mental health education and support
- American Foundation for Suicide Prevention: Utah Chapter
- Encircle Utah: LGBTQ+ family and youth resource center
- Utah Pride Center: empowers Utah’s diverse LGBTQ+ community
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs mental health
- Center for Workplace Mental Health: suicide prevention and response for employers
Additional crisis hotlines
- Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
- Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
- Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
- National Suicide Prevention Crisis Text Line: Text “HOME” to 741-741
- Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386
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