10-Year-Old Ashawnty's Story
Imagine losing someone you love to suicide. Now imagine that person committing suicide because they were subject to bullying. How do you possibly recover from that? How do you move on? These are questions that the parents of 10-year-old Ashawnty Davis are now trying to answer.
Ashawnty Davis was taken off of life support at a children’s hospital last Wednesday after attempting to commit suicide. Davis was only 10 years old. She proved to be a bright student at Sunrise Elementary School in Colorado. What could possibly drive a 10-year-old child toward committing suicide?
According to NEWSONE, Ashawnty Davis committed suicide after a video surfaced on the social media site Musical.ly, which showed her engaging in a fight with another girl after school. The video shows Ashawnty confronting another student who was allegedly bullying her. Two weeks after the video was posted to social media, Ashawnty hung herself in her closet.
Ashawnty’s mother, Latoshia Harris, says that her daughter was a lively young woman with a passion for basketball. Ashawnty lost her passion, however, after the bullying began. And after the video surfaced, the bullying only got worse leading to Ashawnty becoming the latest victim of bullycide.
What Is Bullycide?
Bullycide, simply put, is bullying that leads to suicide. Sadly, this is nothing new. Bullycide is a phenomenon that is growing amongst children and teens. After extensive research, I have not been able to find conclusive statistics on how many teens and children fall victim to bullycide. Too many young people commit suicide, and sometimes, their reasons are unknown.
Although bullying may be a large factor in many teen and child-suicides, most young people refrain from disclosing such information from those who can help them. So, why don’t victims of bullying tell someone? It’s not that simple; perhaps the person is embarrassed about being bullied or fear more severe bullying if they alert an adult.
Ashawnty’s parents state that the school should have been more proactive in the matter. When CNN interviewed Cherry Creek School District director of communications Abbe Smith, he claimed that the school was unaware of any bullying taking place. Aligned with usual statements regarding a student’s death or suicide, Smith also stated that there is a zero-tolerance policy for bullying along with guidelines on dealing with situations similar to Davis’.
According to Davis’ parents, the school never attempted to mediate the altercation involving Davis and the other child who bullied her. The school merely notified Ashawnty’s parents that she had been in a fight. Harris adamantly believes that her daughter would be alive had she been able to meet with the other child’s parents while school officials were present.
Our prayers go out to Ashawnty Davis and her family.