A family in Alabama is mourning the tragic loss of a 9-year-old girl who committed suicide after she was bullied for months by her classmates.
McKenzie Adams took her life last Monday (Dec. 3), and her family says that they believe being taunted by her classmates, allegedly over her friendship with a white boy, had something to do with it.
Here’s what you need to know:
1McKenzie Adams hanged herself before she was discovered by her grandmother.
The family of 9-year-old McKenzie Adams said that the fourth-grader had been bullied constantly by a group of classmates since the beginning of the school year.
McKenzie’s aunt, Eddwinna Harris, said the bullying got to be so bad that she had to change schools.
Her grandmother found her dead in their home in Linden Monday. She had hanged herself.
2McKenzie’s aunt said her niece’s classmates would call her an “ugly black b**ch” and tell her to kill herself.
McKenzie Adams’ family believes she was taunted because she had a close friendship with a white classmate, whose family gave her rides to school in the mornings.
Her aunt told the Tuscaloosa News that bullies would often tell McKenzie to kill herself.
“She was being bullied the entire school year, with words such as ‘kill yourself,’ ‘you think you’re white because you ride with that white boy,’ ‘you ugly,’ ‘black b**ch,’ ‘just die,’” Harris told the newspaper.
3McKenzie’s mother said the 9-year-old told teachers and her assistant principal she was being bullied.
Jasmine Adams, McKenzie’s mother, said her daughter told her teachers and the assistant principal on several different occasions that her classmates were bullying her.
Adams told CBS42: “She told me that this one particular child was writing her nasty notes in class. It was just things you wouldn’t think a 9-year-old should know. And, for my baby to tell me some of the things they had said to her. I was like, ‘Where are they learning this from?'”
“Part of it could have been because she rode to school with a white family. And a lot of it was race, some of the student bullies would say to her why you riding with white people your black, your ugly. You should just die,” Adams added.
Alex Brasswell, the City Schools attorney, said the case is under investigation.
“We are working fully with the Demopolis and Linden police department. They are doing a joint investigation of these allegations. We are cooperating fully and I can’t comment on any of the aspects of the investigation until they conclude it,” he said.
Jasmine Adams is upset the school system didn’t do more to protect her daughter.
“I just felt that our trust was in them that they would do the right thing,” she told CBS42, “And it feels like to me it wasn’t it wasn’t done.”
4McKenzie’s school said they found no evidence of bullying.
McKenzie Adams’ mother and grandmother complained to the State Board of Education that the 9-year-old was being bullied at her elementary school in Linden, Alabama.
She eventually was able to transfer to U.S. Jones elementary school in Demopolis, where the bullying is said to have continued.
Linden City School Superintendent Tim Thurman said that he couldn’t confirm any evidence of bullying because all of the teachers and administrators from that time are no longer at McKenzie’s old school.
Demopolis City Schools attorney Alex Brasswell said the whole situation is sad and senseless.
“Certainly our hearts [go] out to the family and friends of Mckenzie and her fellow students as well as her teachers,” he told CBS42.
“Demopolis school system has provided grief councilors and crisis councilors at the school since this and ministers and youth ministers have been at the campus since the date of this incident. And we certainly want to extend those services to any students and teachers on our campus as they go through this healing process.”
McKenzie Adams’ funeral will be held in the gym at U.S. Jones elementary school in Demopolis on Saturday (Dec. 15) at 11 a.m. just ten days before Christmas.
Instead of seeing the girl who loved playing with dolls and riding her bike open Christmas parents, her family is now planning a funeral. “It’s an emotional roller-coaster,” McKenzie’s aunt Edwinna Harris said.
Harris, who is a television host in Atlanta, said she wants to use her platform to speak out against bullying so that other families wouldn’t have to experience the same tragedy.
“God has blessed me to help others with my platform, and now it’s time to help. There are so many voiceless kids,” she said. “God is opening great doors for justice for my niece.”