A 10-year-old girl in Colorado passed away this week after a long stint of bullying culminated in a video posted to social media.
Ashawnty Davis confronted one of her tormentors outside of Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora, and the two fifth-graders ended up in fist fight with a group of students watching. What nobody knew was that one of those students recorded the whole altercation.
The video was posted to an app called Musical.ly, where anyone could watch it. Ashawnty's parents told reporters at KDVR that once the video went viral, their daughter faced even more harassment and bullying.
“I saw my daughter was scared,” said Latoshia Harris, Ashawnty's mother. “She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to Musical.ly. My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet."
Children's Hospital Colorado kept Ashawnty alive on life support for nearly two weeks, until she passed on Wednesday morning. Her father, Anthony Davis, said that she was the victim of "bullycide" — an emerging term for systematic bullying that leads to suicide.
"It's just devastating," Davis told reporters. “We have to stop it and we have to stop it within our kids.”0comments
The Cherry Creek School District mourned Ashawnty, calling her death "a heartbreaking loss" for the community. They went on to issue a statement on how the school handled the scenario and how bullying should be handled in general.
“We do not tolerate bullying of any kind in our schools," a spokesperson for the district said. "We have a comprehensive bullying prevention program in place at all of our schools. 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.”