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

152 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill7 months ago

What is a 10 year old elementary school doing using social media? Way too young!

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Lesa D
Lesa D8 months ago

such a tragic loss...

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Jim V
Jim V8 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim V8 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S8 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S8 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jerome S
Jerome S8 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S8 months ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim V8 months ago

thanks for sharing

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