A community in Aurora, Colorado, was recently devastated by the loss of a fifth grade girl who took her own life after video of her fighting was posted.
Ashawnty Davis, 10, attended Sunrise Elementary School, where she enjoyed playing basketball. She even had ambitions of growing to play in the WNBA.
“She was just a child of joy and she brought joy to everyone,” her father, Anthony Davis, told KDVR.
However, Ashawnty’s parents noticed a change in their happy daughter at the end of October and they believe the cause was a school scuffle.
“She got into her first ever fight. It was recorded by a student and sent to an app called Musical.ly,” Davis added.
In the video, Ashawnty and another girl are fighting in front of a group of other students. Ashawnty’s mother told the local news station that her daughter confronted the girl, who had allegedly been bullying her.
“I saw my daughter was scared,” Ashawnty’s mother, Latoshia Harris, told KDVR.
When the video was shared to the popular music app, the child was saddened.
“She was devastated when she found out that it had made it to Musical.ly,” Davis said.
After less than a month of having seen the video posted to the app, the image was too much for Ashawnty to handle.
“My daughter came home two weeks later and hanged herself in the closet,” Harris told reporters.
Ashawnty spent nearly two weeks at Children’s Hospital Colorado on life support before dying Wednesday morning.
Now Ashawnty’s father wants her death to be examined as a product of “bullycide,” a term for someone who commits suicide after being subjected to bullying.
“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.”
(Photo: Fox 31 Denver)