10-Year-Old Hangs Self After Being Bullied on Social Media

Ashawnty Davis was a 5th grader at Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora, Colorado. She loved to play basketball and hoped to play in the WBNA one day according to KDVR news, but that all changed when Ashawnty was involved in her first-ever fight after school with a girl who she said had been bullying her.

Instead of stepping in to stop the fight, another student recorded everything on a cell phone and posted the video to the app Musical.ly.

Once the video was shared online, the bullying got worse, according to Ashawnty’s motherTwo weeks later the 10-year-old hanged herself in the closet in her bedroom.

She spent two weeks on life support but passed away on November 29.

It’s heartbreaking to try and imagine how desperate this young girl must have felt. “It’s just devastating,” said her father, Anthony Davis to KDVR. “She was just a child of joy and she brought joy to everyone.”

Ashawanty

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Fox31 video

Her mother, Latosha Harris, agreed, “She’s always been a happy girl.” Harris added that they contacted Fox 31 News to share Ashawnty’s story with everyone, so that no other parents would have to bury a little girl in such awful circumstances. 

“I want other parents to know that it’s happening,” Harris explained.

It’s unclear what action Sunrise Elementary School took to deal with the bullying Ashawnty received, although the school was quick to point out that the fight caught on video did not take place during school hours.

However, Harris believes the school and school district did not do enough to support her daughter. “My child was supposed to be protected at school and for me not to have no protection there it just makes me feel unsafe about my other children and the other children that are there,” she said.

She and Ashawnty’s father are now focused on holding educators responsible when bullying occurs and working to put an effective anti-bullying policy in place.

Most school districts have been forced to create bullying prevention education, in light of the fact that student suicides continue to rise.

In some cases they do so reluctantly. A few years ago I worked for a principal who often declared, “I just wish social media had never been invented. There are so many nasty incidents of cyberbullying that couldn’t have happened without those phones.”

It turns out that in the state of Colorado there is no requirement at this point that schools put bullying prevention education in place

Last year, Care2’s Kevin Mathews wrote about a fascinating report by researchers at UCLA who studied a program in Finland that successfully reduced the rate of bullying.

The program focused on providing students with training in empathy and intervention. 

According to the researchers, schools that use this approach, giving students specific steps to take when they see bullying, will be much more successful than those who follow more traditional anti-bullying methods, trying to “train” children who bully.

The need for bullying prevention programs is overwhelming. According to NVEEE (National Voices for Equality, Education and Enlightenment), a child is bullied every 7 minutes in the U.S. and one million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year.

I would add that most young people have a myriad of other social media outlets, preferring them to Facebook, so the amount of cyberbullying is probably much higher than this number indicates.

Largely as a result of bullying, suicide is the second leading cause of death for children under 14, most of whom take their own lives by hanging. And these suicide rates have increased by more than 50 percent over the past three decades.

Such figures make it imperative all schools take the business of educating on how to prevent bullying a number one priority.

They owe that at least to Ashawnty Davis, who should not have died at the young age of ten.

If you are a young person with thoughts of suicide, or know someone who is, please all the Youth National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, where help is available 24/7.

 

Photo Credit: Screenshot from Fox31 online video

140 comments

Nicole H
Nicole H10 hours ago

What I should have said in first instance : my deepest condolences for the parents of this nice little girl, and to all her family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc... etc.. I feel so sorry for this huge loss, which should never have happened. Your little girl was the victim of some heartless children, who were not taught the difference between right and wrong. I also feel sorry for the friends she still must have had in school. Certainly, she was not bullied by all of them. I wish you all a lot of courage to overcome this tragedy and I sincerely hope that her death will not have been in vain. That he school where she went will pay more attention to bullying behavior, be it on the schoolyard, or outside. It does not matter. The bullying must have started at school where she spent most hours together. God bless you all !!!

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole H10 hours ago

@ Shana I : Am I wrong when you have no or just 1 child. Or you did not go working ?? I had 3 children, and at a certain moment I had to go working because my husband was ill. I did NOT FOLLOW MY CHILDREN WHEN THEY WENT TO THE BATHROOM, OR THEIR OWN ROOM... FUCKING IDIOT REMARK - SHAME ON YOU

@ ceclie w : What do you mean now ?? You feel sorry for her family, but on the other hand you blame them for not being able to take good care of her ?? Do you belong to the category of people who think that each of us should stop having children now ??? !!!

@ LF F : you are totally right. The child that took the foto and put it on social media should also be held accountable for what she did. Not that I mean she needs punishment, but a serious talk that what she did, is totally NOT DONE, and let her understand the consequences of it. This also is a job to be done by the school, who back off as the photo was not taken on the school yard. Does that make any difference ?? It were their students !!!!

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Nicole H
Nicole H11 hours ago

2.- In case a law would be voted in all countries that social media should NOT PUBLISH ANY messages regarding bullying, they should also do that with footages / fotos of teens being raped by drunken / drugged young men, who think to be most interesting because they "got" X, Y or Z. These young girls' lives are ruined. Social media is NOT responsible, they say. And we ALL accept that !!! ARE WE ALSO ALL MONSTERS ??? Either we should obtain a change in legalization, or just leave this social media page. Can we still fight for the future of our children ?? Or are we NOT interested any more, and do we ADULTS need these social media too much to send photos of our holidays, our new baby, etc..etc.. Time to think about this, as more and more victims are falling each day !!! Certainly parents of children as from 7/8 years, up to 22/25 years must pay more attention to any change in the behaviour of their children. Bad sleeping, less eating, bad / sad temper, worse school results and so many more. And take SUFFICIENT time to talk with them. If necessary, you talk till 01 or 02.00 am in the morning. (which I did a couple of times) And when this does not help, ASK FOR HELP EVERYWHERE YOU CAN !! CRY and YELL until someone is paying attention to you ! But don't let your children in the cold, having to solve their own problems.

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Nicole H
Nicole H11 hours ago

Much more attention is to be paid to the bullying young people, and by means of a role game, let them feel how rotten it is to be bullied by a certain number of girls / boys of your own class. In general there is only 1 leader, the rest goes with him/her to obtain favors in the future. Anyway, it is not a game of one against one. No, it is one victim against many bullies. Also the child that is bullied must be closely accompanied and she must learn how to arm herself against all the pain and hate she has in her heart. Each school should have a teacher, specialized in this matter and follow up these children. They can't handle these psychological feelings themselves. Once they were her friends, now her enemies. And worst of all, she is put on social media, and bullied in front of the WHOLE WORLD. Social media thrive on income from commercials. How many millions of $$$$ do they get each year ?? And yet they can't pay a couple of people to throw out the "bully" messages sent ?? That is ridiculous. It is just the easy way NOT to be responsible, FOR NOTHING... NOT EVEN THE DEATH OF A 10 YEAR OLD. If they would ban these messages, far less suicides would occur specially with young people. We ALL should protest against their way of working. Or ask for a membership fee, to cover their costs !! This to be applied for ALL SOCIAL MEDIA !! .../2

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Peggy B
Peggy B21 hours ago

Heartbreaking.

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hillyesterday

wow - thats horrible

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Susanne Wiesneth
Susanne Wyesterday

First of all: my heartfelt condolences. My heartfelt condolences for a little 1o years old innocent girl, not finding any way out than to suizide. It's saddening to lose a young life to "social media", laughed at, insulted and finally left to die. What's wrong with this society? It must be the responsibilily of all media to prevent exactly acts like this. No one has to be everyone's friend, but no one has the right to end an innocent life "laughing", producing itself, acting as a ruler. To all parents: watch your children's activities on Internet, listen to your children, take your children seriously, talk to them about dangers, have a conscientious eye for abnormalities in the behavior of your children. Let Ashawnty Davis be an unforgotten Memorial, hopefully being the last victim of slander.

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S J
S Jyesterday

my deepest condolences to her family and friends. it should never happen at all. I hope she will be the last case. step up to manage and take appropriate measures to stop all forms of bullying.

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Karen H
Karen Hyesterday

Social media sites need to be more vigilant in policing possible bullying. I'm shocked at some of the things I see on social media, and yet I was told a video (of horses) was deemed "inappropriate" for one site.

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Angelika Kempter
Angelika Kyesterday

Thank you for the article

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