AURORA, Colo. — An Aurora couple are dealing with an unimaginable loss as they prepare to lay their 10-year-old daughter to rest.
“She was just a child of joy and she brought joy to everyone,” her father Anthony Davis said.
Ashawnty Davis was a fifth-grader at Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora. She had a passion for basketball and wanted to grow up to be a WNBA star.
But her parents say something changed in the happy little girl at the end of October when she was involved in a fight after school on Sunrise Elementary property.
“She got into her first ever fight. It was recorded by a student and sent to an app called Musical.ly,” Davis said.
In the video, Ashawnty and another girl are seen fighting, while a group of kids watched. According to Ashawnty’s mother, her daughter confronted the girl, who she claims had been bullying her.
“I saw my daughter was scared,” said Latoshia Harris, Ashawnty’s mother.
While the video is difficult to watch, her parents believe it’s important to see.
“She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to Musical.ly,” Davis said.
The parents say the bullying she endured after the video surfaced was too much for the 10-year-old to handle.
“My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet,” Harris said.
Ashawnty spent nearly two weeks at Children’s Hospital Colorado on life support before dying Wednesday morning.
“It’s just devastating,” her father said.
They believe she is the victim of “Bullycide.” The term is used for when someone takes his or her own life because of bullying.
“We have to stop it and we have to stop it within our kids,” Davis said.
Now they are hoping Ashawnty’s story will help save other lives and help put an end to bullying for good.
“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 issued a statement on the case.
“This is a heartbreaking loss for the school community. Mental health supports will be made available for 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 wellbeing 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.”