A mother and father in Aurora, Colorado, say their 10-year-old daughter committed suicide over video of a fight with an alleged bully. Ashawnty Davis, was only in fifth grade.
She was a happy girl until everything changed at the end of October when she was involved in a fight after school, her parents told KDVR.
They say it was her first fight and it was recorded by another student and posted on an app called Musical.ly.
The video shows Ashawnty and another student fighting, while other kids watched. Ashawnty’s mother, Latoshia Harris, says her daughter had been confronting the girl who had been bullying her.
“I saw my daughter was scared,” she said.
The video is difficult to watch. But Ashawnty’s parents are sharing it to help other parents.
“She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to Musical.ly,” said her father, Anthony Davis.
“My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet,” said Harris.
She was on life support for two weeks before passing away Wednesday.
Her parents say she was the victim of “bullycide.” The term is used 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,” said Davis.
“I want other parents to know it’s happening,” Harris said. “That was my baby, and I love my baby, and I just want mothers to listen.”
The school district issued the following statement regarding the incident:
“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.”