Ashawnty Davis, a 10-year-old Colorado girl, died two weeks after she hanged herself. The cause of her suicide: a video of her being bullied was posted on social media.
The little girl was removed from life support at Children’s Hospital Colorado following her suicide attempt.
‘It’s just devastating,’ her father, Anthony Davis, said. ‘She was just a child of joy and she brought joy to everyone.’
Ashawnty, was a fifth-grade student at Sunrise Elementary in Aurora. She was involved in a fight after school in October. The fight was recorded by another student, who sent the footage to an app called Musical.ly.
Ashawnty and another can be seen fighting, while a group of kids gathered around to watch. Ashawnty’s mother, Latoshia Harris, said that her daughter confronted a girl who was bullying her.
‘I saw my daughter was scared,’ Harris said. Harris and Davis showed the clip to KDVR-TV which broadcast parts of it – though the children’s images were muted.
‘She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to Musical.ly,’ Davis said.
According to her parents, Ashawnty was subjected to frequent teasing and bullying at school once the clip was posted to Musical.ly.
They said the abuse their daughter took turned her into a different person. Ashawnty could no longer live with the shame.
‘My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet,’ Harris said.
Her parents are urging other parents to be on the lookout for signs of ‘bullycide’ or when a child is driven to suicide because of bullying.
‘We have to stop it and we have to stop it with our kids,’ Davis said. ‘I want other parents to know that it’s happening,’ Harris said.
‘That was my baby and I love my baby and I just want mothers to listen.’
The Cherry Creek School District which has jurisdiction over Sunrise Elementary issued a statement: ‘This is a heartbreaking loss for the school community,’ the district said.
‘Mental health supports will be made available to any students who need help processing the loss.
‘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 today to ensure schools are safe, welcoming and supportive places that support learning.
‘We were made aware of that video when a media outlet approached us with it. We took immediate action in response, turning the video over to police and addressing the matter with students.’
‘It should also be noted that the video did not take place during school hours.’
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