Parents of 10-year-old suicide victim allege school didn’t do enough to stop bullying

AURORA, Colo. -- The parents of a 10-year-old-girl who took her own life say their daughter’s school district might not have done enough to prevent the bullying that led to her death.

Ashawnty Davis was a fifth-grader at Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora in the Cherry Creek School District.

At the end of October, she was involved in a fight at school. Her mother claims her daughter was confronting a bully.

The fight was captured on cellphone video and uploaded to the app Musical.ly.

“She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to Musical.ly,” her father Anthony Davis said.

FOX31 was made aware of the video at the end of October when a viewer emailed it.

The Cherry Creek School District responded by saying, “We are looking into this matter and will take appropriate action to ensure the safety of all students involved.”

A district spokesman clarified Thursday that it spoke to the children involved, called their parents and handed the video over to the Aurora Police Department.

Ashawny’s parents believe that action wasn’t enough.

“There was nothing done about it. 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,” her mother Latoshia Harris said.

“We got denied that just to meet with the parent at the school with the staff,” Davis said.

“The school says they are not aware of such a request," the district said.

The couple believe that if a meeting had occurred, it could have saved their daughter’s life.

“I could have taken her out of the school. It could have been different if she would have faced the girl,” Harris said.

Two weeks after the fight, Ashawnty took her own life. She spent two weeks on life support at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she died Wednesday morning.

Her parents say she is a victim of “bullycide,” when a person died by suicide after being the subject of bullying.

“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,” Harris said.

Her family is now determined to hold educators accountable in cases of bullying and to figure out an anti-bullying policy that actually works.

“With the last breath in my life I’m going to make sure that the unfortunate kids are able to go to school comfortably and learn,” Davis said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to pay for services associated with Ashawnty's death and prior medical care.

Resources

If you or anyone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts or depression, the following resources are available:

Colorado Crisis Services Hotline (1-844-493-TALK): If you are in crisis or need help dealing with one, call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 to speak to a trained professional. When you call Colorado Crisis Services, you will be connected to a crisis counselor or trained professional with a master’s or doctoral degree.

Colorado Crisis Services Walk-In Locations: Walk-in crisis services are open 24/7, and offer confidential, in-person crisis support, information and referrals to anyone in need. Visit http://coloradocrisisservices.org to find locations.

Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437 as the best resource for readers to report suspected child abuse and neglect.

The number serves as a direct, immediate and efficient route to all Colorado’s 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to child abuse and neglect concerns. All callers are able to speak with a call-taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

More resources available to will help you talk to your kids about bullying.